I have several ladies about to give birth over next few weeks and some are vegetarian. As they are vegetarian, I have told them they must think twice about the snake oils as their cells and organs will not have a layer of fat also known as cholesterol protecting them like a meat eater.
Many TICM methods for postpartum recovery are around the use of animal proteins. If you don't use animal products, there are alternatives, you will just want to make sure to supplement with herbs and extra nourishing foods.
Food is used for medicine, as the source of postnatal Qi (energy) and Blood to ensure proper recovery and healing. This is important because in TICM, the mother's health greatly impacts the baby's health too. Food also helps in building a healthy foundation on the emotional transition of being a new mother as well as breastfeeding.
Soaked and sprouted legumes: beans are usually Kidney shaped and they are also seeds, signifying their potential for new life, a long time food considered to be healing to the organs that house or reproductive system and postnatal Qi. Adzuki beans in particular are loved for their draining capability, moving dampness out that has accumulated in the body. Their sweetness promotes healthy digestion.
Soaked and sprouted grains: whole grains are completely nourishing for the body, often prescribed to promote energy or balance it. The Spleen, Pancreas and Stomach love the sweet essence, warm nature and slow releasing fuel that whole grains provide. Digestion is the centre of our well being.
Soups and stews: anything from miso soup to vegetable soups, bean stews should be consumed daily. Ingredients to focus on are seaweeds, mushrooms, beans, rice.
Blood builder formula's: these formula's is especially nourishing for vegan/vegetarian diets because it replenishes Blood. During childbirth, Blood becomes depleted. This formula nourishes the body, moistens body tissues to avoid dryness and supports the Shen/Ruh. Shen/Ruh is comparable to our spirit but also encompasses the mind. So this helps with feelings of anxiety, insomnia and depression.
Mobility formula's: these formula contains Du Zhong which is a famous postpartum herb for its ability to alleviate pain, strengthen the bones, sinews and knees.
Help fatigue and boost Qi. The combination of all the herbs activates specific anti-inflammatory cells in the body to soothe pain and replenish the essences needed for recovery.
Huang Qi (Astragalus): whether you cook with it by adding it to soups, stews or teas, or take it in herbal medicine form, astragalus is an essential herb for vegetarians postpartum. This classic herb brings balance to the gut, keeps body systems strong and helps us adapt to stress.
Important: Do not forget to observe the 40 days sit in period. Please see previous post.