Postpartum Self-Care With Acupuncture and Ayurvedic Medicine

Written by Alana Foeller

Several years back I had a friend who had recently become a new mother. One day she called to ask if I could come over to help her as she was feeling overwhelmed. With her husband back at work and her family overseas, she was taking on this new responsibility primarily by herself. When I arrived, she quickly handed the baby over to me, and with tears in her eyes she confessed that she had been having thoughts of harming her new baby. She felt overwhelmed, exhausted, and unrecognizable to herself. As a nurse, I was very familiar with postpartum psychosis, depression, and anxiety, and I reassured her that these feelings while frightening at times, can be very common postpartum. What she needed was someone to listen and validate her feelings as she was too afraid to share with her husband for fear of appearing unstable. She also needed help with day-to-day things while she adjusted to motherhood. Stopping by to hold her baby so she could shower and nap made a world of difference for her that day, but new mothers need continued support as they navigate their new role. **In my practice, I recommend that women work with a qualified therapist if the thoughts and feelings are overwhelming and frequent or if they feel they need more support.

Postpartum depression and anxiety from a Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine perspective can be due to a number of factors including trauma from giving birth, large volume blood loss, underlying “blood and/or Yin deficiency,” hormonal changes, and lack of sleep. Both Ayurveda and Chinese medicine offer a number of healing modalities to help bring you back into balance after giving birth. 

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine

Pain Relief: Acupuncture can be used to manage postpartum pain, such as discomfort in the perineal area, back pain, or surgical site pain in the case of a C-section delivery.

Hormonal Balance: Acupuncture can help regulate hormonal changes that occur after childbirth, which can contribute to mood swings and emotional fluctuations, and has been shown to help with postpartum depression and anxiety.
Fatigue and Low Energy: Postpartum fatigue is common, and acupuncture helps boost energy levels and reduces fatigue. There is a large boy of evidence that Acupuncture helps promote restful sleep and is very helpful in the treatment of insomnia.
Stress Reduction: Acupuncture is known for its relaxation and stress-reduction effects, which can be particularly beneficial for new mothers who may be dealing with sleep deprivation and increased stress, worry, and anxiety.
Scar Healing: If you had a C-section, Acupuncture can assist in scar tissue healing and reduce the appearance of scars. In fact, Scar Therapy is one of my favorite things to treat!


Ayurveda is a system of medicine that beautifully brings the body back into balance using nutrition therapy, herbal medicine, and external therapies to help nourish and restore the body after giving birth. Some practices and therapies that greatly benefit new mothers include:

Abhyanga: application of herbal “medicated” oils to help nourish and rejuvenate the body and to restore balance. Childbirth can imbalance Vata Dosha due to the extreme downward movement associated with delivery. This Vata aggravation can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and fear, and can disrupt sleep. Abhyanga is a very grounding practice to help you come back into your body and get out of your head. You can perform self-massage Abhyanga at home or seek out an Ayurvedic Practitioner who specializes in Abhyanga.  

Nutrition Therapy: Ayurvedic Nutrition uses warm, oily, well-cooked foods with heavier textures to help nourish Vata Dosha and support new mothers. New mothers are encouraged to eat warm cooked foods and to avoid cold and raw foods as these further aggravate Vata Dosha. To learn more about balancing Vata Dosha through diet click on this link:

Herbal Medicine: Both Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine have herbal formulations that nourish blood, calm the spirit (mind), rejuvenate the body, balance hormones, and treat insomnia. 

3 Pillars Holistic Health Postpartum Care Package

Did you know that 1/7 women develop postpartum depression (PPD)? PPD can severely affect a woman’s ability to function and can include symptoms such as loss of pleasure, insomnia or hypersomnia, hopelessness, guilt, suicidal ideation, poor concentration, loss of energy, and change in weight or appetite. As many as half of PPD in new mothers go undiagnosed because of fear of disclosing symptoms to providers and close family members and the stigma associated with mental illness in this country. 

I’ve designed the Postpartum Care Package to nourish and support new Mothers and to help them rest and recover when they are feeling depleted and sleep-deprived. 

What is included? 3 Acupuncture treatments, 1 Abhyanga (Ayurvedic bodywork) treatment, 1 nutritional consultation, and herbal medicine when appropriate.

*Acupuncture helps to calm the nervous system and has proven beneficial in treating depression and anxiety and is often beneficial in the treatment of insomnia. Abhyanga (Ayurvedic Bodywork) nourishes the body, calms the mind, and promotes restful sleep. Proper nutrition is essential for new mothers to provide nourishment and rejuvenation after giving birth. Nutrition recommendations are given based on Mom’s constitution and imbalances at the present moment and herbal medicine may be prescribed as needed to nourish Blood and Yin, promote healing, calm the mind, and promote restful sleep. 

Investment: $450 + cost of herbs ($550 value). *Available for house calls for an additional travel cost. Call to schedule your Care Package today! 720-232-7036