doula-ayurveda: Ayurvedic medicine and pregnancy coaching - Holistic care and Ayurvedic treatments for a natural pregnancy

Recent Posts

mothering the mother
“Mothering the mother”.


postnatal care
powered by


mothering the mother

“Mothering the mother”.
Promoting postnatal care in the light of Ayurvedic medicine.
Being a mother, as well as an Ayurvedic practitioner, I often have the opportunity to meet and talk to women.
From my personal experience as well as from listening to my friends and patients’ stories I have come to realise that the majority of us did not have proper postnatal care.
Modern medicine recognises that it takes six weeks for the mother’s body tissues to recover from childbirth echoing the age old tradition that advised to women to stay at home for 40 days -“the Quarantine”- to rest and recover.
In our contemporary society where time is money and people are so busy, this art of taking care of mothers after delivery seems to have been lost.
If there are no complications women stay in an NHS hospital between 24 and 48 hours, some are even discharged the same day. They then return to the hospital or GP for their six-week check-up.
After the baby is born, it is generally advised to have a healthy diet and rest. The local health visitor comes for few visits but no other support is provided to the mother unless she suffers from a medical condition.
There is not much information provided about this postnatal time and no emphasis is given to its importance in preventing health problems. The advice offered is quite general and doesn’t seem to take account of the great psychophysical stress and dramatic changes that a woman’s body undergoes during labour and after delivery.
It is evident there is a big gap in the maternity services that need to be filled: supporting women and babies at this vital time can have such a positive impact on their future health and well-being. I am concerned that the measures taken by the government are not going to improve the quality of maternity care provided by the NHS.
A survey conducted only last year by the National Childbirth Trust, the UK's largest parenting charity, highlighted that over the past 10 years there have been only limited improvements in postnatal care with an overall decline in quality standards.
The survey found that out of 1,260 first-time mothers 57% said they did not get the emotional support they needed in the 24 hours after a hospital birth and 43% said their emotional needs were not met from 24 hours to a month after the birth. Women who had operative births (forceps, vent use or caesarean) had the greatest gaps in care: only 3 in 10 women who had a caesarean reported to have found kind and understanding midwives and just over half (52%) felt they did not get consistent advice about feeding. The majority of women said there were only sometimes or never enough midwives to help them in hospital and that they felt let down by the care they received after having a baby.
It is quite normal for a new mother to feel down after delivery. What it is called the baby blues is due to the dramatic changing in the mother’s body after her baby is born. It is also common for women to feel physically and mentally exhausted after the stress of the labour and then by the lack of sleep and the excitement and worries of providing for a new life.
It is in this extremely delicate time, which lasts about 40-days that mothers need more help and support.
In many cultures mothers are traditionally looked after by the female family members, but
in our society, and especially in big cities, no many women are lucky to have an extended family around.
The role of a postnatal doula is in general to provide the same loving support and care to mothers enabling them to recover more quickly and my work in particular has been influenced by an extraordinary medical science known as Ayurveda.
This is an ancient natural system of healing that promotes an holistic care by means of natural drugs and body treatments as well as psychological and spiritual counselling. According to Ayurvedic medicine, the choices made the first 42 days after birth influence a woman’s health and ability to be a mother and a partner for the next 42 years.
It is very important that mothers are properly looked after delivery as they need to regain their strength and immunity and be ready and fit to care for their newborn.
Only with a proper postnatal care they can get restore their health as well as prevent the onset of future problems.
Ayurveda recognises that after the enormous psychophysical stress of labour and delivery the mother’s body tissues become depleted.
The amount of pain and fatigue endured has driven her body elements (doshas) out of balance. She has also been left with the enlarged uterus empty and creating a ‘vacuum’ that immediately fills with vata dosha.
Vata is the air principle that governs all movements within the body and it is responsible for the functioning of nervous system as well as of the respiration and elimination of urine, stools, gas, sperm and menstrual blood. It is very active during pregnancy and especially during labour as it is the force that pushes the baby out.
Vata is made of the elements of air and space. From these elements it gets its qualities which are cold, dry and mobile. It is mainly located in the abdominal/pelvic areas which play a key role in childbearing.
When it is balanced we feel active, light, creative, flexible, enthusiastic and strong.
When unbalanced, we experience various symptoms either on a physical or mental level. Pain, cold, dryness, constipation, shakiness, gas, cramps, sleep disturbance and fatigue, feelings of being overwhelmed, fearful, distracted, anxiety, insomnia and depression are some of these.
High Vata due to physical and mental exertion is one of the main culprit of postnatal depression.
It is essential that after delivery this vata gets removed slowly, but completely as we want the uterus to shrink back to its normal size and all organs return to their original positions.
As Ayurvedic treatments follow the simple rule of counteraction, the best ways to balance the mobility, coldness and dryness of vata are to use moisture and oiliness, warmth, heaviness, routine, peace & quiet, and a smooth, flowing lifestyle.
It becomes important that the mother rests as much as possible and has regular massages.
She also needs to eats warm, liquid, unctuous, food which is nutritious but light to digest.
Ideally she should never be left alone and great care must be taken to ensure her needs are met and that she is happy because her happiness makes the baby happy and also improves the quality of her breast milk.
She should rest and spend time only to breast feed and bond with her baby.
I recommend regular Abhyanga (warm oil massage) for several weeks after birth with special attention to the back and abdominal region.
After delivery the mother digestive system becomes very weak and it is very important to follow a specific postnatal diet to regain her digestive power and ensure the quality and quantity of the breast milk.
For at least the first 10 days after delivery I recommend the consumption of warm vegetable and mung beans soups seasoned with spices, avoiding meat, cheese, yogurt, pastry, oily food as they are heavy on the system and beans, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, green peas, broccoli as they aggravate vata dosha and can make the baby gassy.
I also advise taking plenty of ghee (clarified butter) to balance vata and to nourish and rejuvenate the body. Also the new mum should avoid cold drinks, ice, juices and frozen foods as vata is cold and dry. Health foods at this time are boiled milk, hot/warm water and vegetables such as tender green beans, carrots, squash, and different types of greens, zucchini and beets along with vata –pacifying spices, like ajwain, ginger, cumin, black pepper, sea salt, turmeric, fenugreek, fennel, saffron, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. 
In general food should be organic and prepared in small quantities sufficient for one or two meals, because stale, leftover and frozen food is not nourishing and can cause indigestion.
The main meal should be at lunch-time when the sun is high in the sky and our digestive power is at his peak. It is always advisable to eat with a calm mind as emotion can alter the digestive function and make food toxic.
Many women in our culture feel a pressure to get back to "normal" life as quickly as possible to prove their strength and efficiency.
With this article I wish to awaken their sense of responsibility and promote a return to a proper postnatal care as a health investment for mothers as well as a way to show respect and love to life.
Margherita Tessarin, Ayurvedic doula

22 Comments to mothering the mother:

Comments RSS
tibet festival on 19 May 2013 08:04
Amazing blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme. Cheers
Reply to comment

tibet travel reviews on 19 May 2013 13:37
Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I'm trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I'm not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Appreciate it!
Reply to comment

johnly on 21 May 2013 06:33
greetings My spouse and i caught the demonstrate not too long ago inside kingston ontario discount ray ban sunglasses while i ended up being residence over next month crack as well as relating to a number of pleasant pictures ray ban sunglasses sale yet we were questioning should you be executing virtually any illustrates throughout toronto, ontario as well as should you be which are the days as well as cheap ray ban sunglasses moments. I will become inside Hamilton using an incredible affair September 14th. You need to have a shot at ray ban sunglasses outlet sale as well as help it become. This is a sometime affair on the Ancaster Good Environment.
Reply to comment

cheap christian louboutin on 21 May 2013 06:34
The online service providers also care for the career.
Reply to comment

cairnsjudo on 23 May 2013 01:31
What i don't understood is actually how you are not really much more well-liked than you might be right now. You're very intelligent. You realize therefore significantly relating to this subject, made me personally consider it from numerous varied angles. Its like men and women aren't fascinated unless it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. Always maintain it up!
Reply to comment

Online wigs on 15 March 2014 23:19
I am really happy with your stuff provide. I like to bookmark it and i hope in future you w ill keep update us
Reply to comment

Lipozene on 04 April 2014 13:54
It’s amazing how interesting it is for me to visit you very often.
Reply to comment

Lipozene scam on 08 April 2014 09:45
Instantly amazed with all the useful information that is on it. Great post, just what i was looking for and i am looking forward to reading your other posts soon!
Reply to comment

Hydroxcut Reviews on 11 April 2014 06:29
I’m very fired up to show it to anyone. It makes me so satisfied your vast understanding and wisdom have a new channel for trying into the world.
Reply to comment on 20 April 2014 09:53
I am very much pleased with the contents you have mentioned.I wanted to thank you for this great article. I enjoyed everylittle bit part of it and I will be waiting for the new updates.Check out these site to know about
Reply to comment

SlimQuick Reviews on 27 April 2014 07:00
Amazing article. I am so impressed. Could never think of such a thing is possible with it...I think you have a great knowledge especially while dealings with such subjects.
Reply to comment

Diet Pills on 06 June 2014 04:54
I harmonize with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your approaching updates
Reply to comment

Lipozene on 06 June 2014 04:54
I honestly think you would have fully sold me on the idea had you been able to back up your premis with a substantial bit more solid facts.
Reply to comment

best diet pills that work on 14 June 2014 18:59
Online reading is not my thing. But after reading your blog I am really pleased. I don’t know about other blogs but this I will definitely keep coming back to.
Reply to comment

Lipozene on 07 July 2014 03:50
Instantly amazed with all the useful information that is on it. Great post, just what i was looking for and i am looking forward to reading your other posts soon!
Reply to comment

Slim Quick Review on 15 July 2014 10:22
I harmonize with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your approaching updates
Reply to comment

Lipozene on 10 August 2014 15:05
I truly like your style of blogging. I tag it to my favorites internet site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site also and let me know what you think.
Reply to comment

Weight Loss on 13 August 2014 04:56
I’m very fired up to show it to anyone. It makes me so satisfied your vast understanding and wisdom have a new channel for trying into the world.
Reply to comment

Phentermine on 17 September 2014 15:53
Like your writing! Still you can do some things to improve it.
Reply to comment

Lipozene Before and After Weight Loss on 19 September 2014 17:51
I absolutely enjoyed every single small little bit of it. I’ve you bookmarked your internet site to look at out the new stuff you post.
Reply to comment

swiss watches list on 02 January 2015 15:26
wonderful submit, very informative. I'm wondering why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I'm sure, you've a huge readers' base already!
Reply to comment

Dunbar on 19 November 2016 18:26
Thanks in favor of sharing such a fastidious idea, post is good, thats why i have read it completely Timothy
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint