Postpartum - The Golden Month

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About Jenny Allison

Jenny is an acupuncturist and teacher based in New Zealand who has spent a decade researching her book, The Golden Month aims to debunk the anxiety-inducing myth of the perfect postpartum body. It focuses on a mother’s long-term well-being, looking at both mental and physical health.

Golden Month also explains the importance of nutrition and includes nutrient-dense recipes to ensure optimum recovery during the postnatal period.

Episode highlights

  • Golden Month – Chinese medicine – golden opportunities to improve health.

  • Postpartum period is known as the Cinderella time - where mothers are typically forgotten.

  • Healthy society is reflected in good care of mothers and fathers.

  • Childbirth considered a social event in some cultures.

  • Stress responses in childbirth can impede return to health.

  • Polynesian and Maori culture’s approach to honouring the new mother.

  • Mothers in Western society look exhausted.

  • Women are open after childbirth – 'tomb is open' – grave is closed after 40 days

  • Postpartum care is for the long game; create the right circumstances for postpartum to ensure have long term health.

  • Always a degree of traumas at childbirth regardless of birth.

  • Birth is much more than a marathon – physical, spiritual, emotional. Doesn't stop at finish line.

  • Key words – empowerment of mother – she has to have control of how care is delivered

  • Best to plan before postpartum.

  • Learning to listen to own needs as opposed to cultural pressures.

  • Metamorphosing into new self is so important to honour

  • Hormone changes after birth.

  • Protection and empowerment – more than self-care and involves others holding that space.

  • Make space in your mind for asking for help

  • Words of advice: Think about situation before-hand, who the support will be (more than 1 partner), organise support beforehand, make contingencies i.e premature births. Important to have a complete healing experience. Self cultivation – clear space in mind so listen to own needs. Woman are vulnerable – therefore to acknowledge and respect your own needs. Be in company of people you trust and love.

  • Walter Freeman’s research on oxytocin.

  • Postpartum as a communal event

Relevant links

Jenny’s book Golden Month

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