Traditional Chinese medicine has a very clear and simple prescription for the postpartum period: the new mother should stay in bed for three months.
I was astonished to hear this from my traditionally-trained Chinese herbal professor. And it turns out, that’s literal. A woman who just gave birth is to stay in bed, have her food brought to her, and not even bathe for three months. Others in the family take care of the baby, and bring it the mother for feeding and sleeping.
When I tell this to people in my office, they usually burst out laughing. The contrast between that scene, and what is actually happening, is so stark. Continue reading