- Dr. Gowri Motha, founder of the “Gentle Birth Method,” remotely supported Meghan Markle’s birth.
- Her postnatal program combines Aruyvedic techniques with “Creative Healing” therapies.
- A soft, vegetarian diet, belly wraps, and therapeutic touch can help new moms’ recovery, she says.
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It’s been almost 40 days since Meghan Markle delivered her second child – and if she’s following her birth advisor’s recommendations, she’s been fully focused on her recovery, receiving treatments like massages and eating easily-digestible foods.
Dr. Gowri Motha is a London-based OB-GYN whose “Gentle Birth Method” has been used for decades around the world to facilitate joyful pregnancies and births, and the delivery of calm babies. In addition to Markle, whom Motha supported over the phone during labor, she’s worked with high-profile clients including Elle Macpherson and Gwyneth Paltrow.
While Motha’s method, based on a blend of Eastern and Western medicine, first just focused on pregnancy and labor, she expanded it to include postnatal care after hearing from moms they felt a little lost during the “fourth trimester.”
“They told me after birth, you kind of disappear. We want some support,” Motha told Insider. “So I put my mind to it.” Her postpartum program integrates traditional Indian Ayurvedic principles with “Creative Healing” techniques that have a base in the US.
Motha says crunchy foods should be off the table in the first 6 weeks after birth
Traditional Asian cultures encourage new moms to focus on recovery for the 40 days post-childbirth, considered “The Sacred Window,” Motha’s website explains. (This of course, requires the privilege of a good support system and parental leave benefits.)
The Chinese version of the custom, sometimes called “sitting the month after childbirth,” is based on the belief that labor disturbs the body’s balance between yin (cold) and yang (hot), Elizabeth Rochin, vice president of nursing and clinical services at the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, told US News & World Report.
In some cases, it’s advised for new moms to avoid physical activity, cold food and drinks, showers, and air conditioners while consuming warm food and drink to help restore balance and promote recovery.
The Gentle Birth Method’s postnatal program, however, is rooted Ayurvedic techniques, like tummy wraps, oil massages, and a soft, vegetarian diet.
While Motha says women can have chicken broth or a small bite of something crunchy like broccoli, anything more complex – like a chicken breast or a full salad – is too harsh on new mom’s digestive system. Dietitians agree soups made with vegetables, broth, and organ meat are a healthy way to provide the body with important nutrients for recovery like B vitamins, iron, and magnesium.
“You need to help the mother get her digestive system back to normal again because the womb works so hard during birth,” Motha said.
Motha’s program also incorporates “Creative Healing” techniques
Motha’s postnatal program also includes facets of “Creative Healing,” a method developed in the 1800s by a UK practitioner who moved to the US, where it’s still taught.
Practitioners use both their hands and visualization (hence the “creative” part of the name) “to restore the function to a particular part of the body or organ, by re-aligning the flows of energy to that part of the body,” the Gentle Birth Method website says.
When Motha came across the technique, she said she was “so excited” and started applying it specifically to women’s health after undergoing a training. For UK clients, her postnatal program now may include Creative Healing treatments designed to support the pancreas, liver, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
There’s little to no research on the benefits of Creative Healing for new moms, but postpartum massage is known to help regulate hormones, improve sleep, and support breastfeeding. Motha said it’s her dream for Creative Healing to become central to US maternal care. “It’s pretty magical,” she said.