In my journey researching different traditions within birth work, I found some unique beliefs and paths. One in particular is the Chinese custom called “Zuo Yue Zi”, or more publicly known as the ritual of “Sitting In”. This is a time where the mother and child spend 30 days or more in the gentle and secure surroundings of their home. The process itself has been coined “Chinese Postpartum Confinement” because that name brought (some people) to see it as a caged, its name has been changed to a time “the Pampered Seclusion”; has been practiced for over 2000 thousands years. The process of giving birth is a time of great transition. In the research I have done, it expressed that the tradition practitioners, believed this is a time of vulnerability and pronounced transformation. Sometimes in times of adjustment, it is helpful to take time to let the changes develop into norms.
In this time, there are a few things that happen or do not happen, as the women spend this time in postpartum recovery.
If you are looking for more information on this topic, there is a wonderful book called Sitting Moon: A Guide to Rejuvenation after Pregnancy by Daoshing Ni ( Sitting Moon) “Sitting Moon provides women with information on how to prepare for a new child and how to have a healthy postpartum period. The book includes information on nutrition, especially Chinese nutrition, what physical changes a new mother might expect, common ailments and how to help heal them, qi gong, acupressure, meditation, and exercise. Also includes recipes for the first four weeks after birth and meal plans.”
If you are looking at more holistic Chinese Medicine or more natural help within your in Pregnancy, check out this YouTube video for some ideas. A Healthy Pregnancy with Wu Ming Qigong (Video) There are many Chinese Medicine or Natural Path practitioners in the world, search for them or ask your doula she may know of some practitioners personally.
Lesley Cressman, CLD, SBD