Presentation Information

Ihotu Jennifer Ali

Can Broths and Baths Help the Baby Blues? Where Indigenous Wisdom Meets Functional Medicine

  • Speaker: Ihotu Jennifer Ali , MPH, LMT, CLC
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME, 0.1 Midwifery CEU

Indigenous practices around pregnancy, birth and postpartum have become wildly popular, and some even controversial, from rebozo belly sifting and Bengkung binding to herbal massage oils and vaginal steams. This presentation will dive deeper to explore the theories and assumptions behind certain lineages of indigenous postpartum care (Traditional Chinese Medicine, Mayan and Nigerian), their analysis of the postpartum body as in a “cold state,” and common warming foods and practices. We will also look at the theories behind functional medicine and compare the two perspectives – both ancient and emerging science - in their common view of the postpartum body as being in a depleted state in need of nourishment.

Given the lack of standard postpartum care and the high rates of postpartum depression and mood disorders, a family-oriented and public health approach is proposed here, at the intersection of both indigenous and functional medicine. Both early research and generational wisdom suggest that integrative postpartum care focusing on regular warm broths and baths, anti-inflammatory foods, and nourishing the hormonal, digestive and circulatory systems can relieve new parents’ swelling, joint pain, constipation, hot flashes, energy and mood, especially for those with health conditions, after a difficult pregnancy, or a long or traumatic birth.

Pre-Recorded Presentation