THE HEART HOUSES THE MIND
In TCM, the heart houses the Spirit-mind and governs blood. Excessive blood loss during delivery or a pre-existing Blood deficiency results in failure to nourish the Spirit-mind. When not properly nourished the Spirit-mind becomes weak and unsettled and may manifest as symptoms such as fatigue, mild anxiety, insomnia, tearfulness, a feeling of guilt, loss of libido, poor memory, and/or palpitations. If a Blood deficiency is left untreated it may develop further into a Yin deficiency or if the woman has a predisposition to a Yin deficiency, more serious symptoms may develop. More serious symptoms may include insomnia, mental restlessness, scanty breast milk, palpitations, feeling of heat in the evening and night sweating. Blood that is not able to move freely becomes stagnated after childbirth and ‘harasses’ the Spirit-mind. In this case the woman is not only depressed but also confused and may experience manic or aggressive behavior, delusions, hallucinations and destructive or suicidal thinking. ‘Postpartum psychosis’ is far less common but gives some explanation of why a woman may abandon or even harm her own child.