sitting moon

September 10th, 2010

Mei Mei (little sister), after you give birth, it is extremely important for me to come and live with you for a month. I’ll take care of you so that you can experience the proper Zuo Yue Zi.” – A mother to her daughter in Sitting Moon

“Where once, in recent history and ancient practices, families of women surrounded women at this hour, now so many of us have so few.” – Momma Zen

Zuo Yue Zi literally translates as “sitting month,” or “moon.” Ancient cultures cared for new mothers with the same attention devoted to newborns, swaddling them in a cocoon of nourishment, rest and reverence lasting a full lunar cycle after giving birth. During a time when we might think of a month with relatives as less than optimal – and most of us have little or no help at all – Sitting Moon outlines the modern equivalent of postpartum wisdom drawn from the ancient feminine.

With plainspoken simplicity, the authors (both professionals in the field of Chinese medicine) air the litany of unthinkables that greet us in the long and isolating months after giving birth, as we otherwise stumble toward some fractured “normal” of emotional and physical health. The book seasons its common sense with clear diagnostics, helpful tips, recommended foods and Chinese herbs, acupressure directions and a full four-week meal plan with recipes – for someone else to cook for you! – geared to the natural sequence of rejuvenation.

In the view of Oriental medicine, a lifetime of chronic ills can be traced to the postpartum period – that mysterious and irrevocable transition when life changes in every way forever. Sitting Moon is what I would have given myself, if I’d had the means to ask. So now I’ll give it to you.

Enter my giveaway for a copy of Sitting Moon: A Guide to Natural Rejuvenation After Pregnancy by leaving a comment on this post. I’ll pair the prize with a signed copy of Momma Zen – two must-haves that give a new mama all the light of the mother moon.

Give yourself an extra chance by tweeting the following (make sure you get the URL):

RT @kmaezenmiller Double Giveaway: Sitting Moon & Momma Zen

Note to readers: Amazon supplies are running low; Sitting Moon is also available directly from the Tao of Wellness.

This is the grand finale in my week of book giveaways, but there’s still time to enter Monday’s giveaway and Wednesday’s giveaway (as many times as you like) before the contest closes at midnight this Sunday, Sept. 12. Thank you for sharing this fortune with me!

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  1. I’ve never heard of this book. Thank you for sharing it!

    Comment by Stephanie Rayburn — September 10, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

  2. Stephanie,
    The book was just published!

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — September 10, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

  3. What a needed book. As a student of midwifery the more and
    More I learn, the more I realize the post partum period is where my work lies. Thank you!!!!

    Comment by Marybeth — September 10, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

  4. Oh that sounds wonderful! I am expecting my first child in late January–would love to have this book! I’ve already read through Momma Zen twice and expect to refer to it many, many times over once our little Bean is here.

    Comment by Fanny — September 10, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

  5. Wow! Thanks for the lead on this – copies to every midwife and new mama I know!

    Comment by Alyssa — September 10, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

  6. What a gift to be able to give and receive this kind of loving support during those early weeks. Thank you so much for sharing.xo

    Comment by Kirsten Michelle — September 10, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

  7. This book sounds like such a needed addition to my bookshelf and the tools I use with mothers. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Comment by Jesse — September 10, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

  8. Thank you for sharing this book! I would love to add this to my resources.

    Comment by Valerie Rasmussen — September 10, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

  9. A WONDERFUL resource for the women in my life who come asking how they can be part of a community. I think there is nothing like gathering around a woman who has just given birth.

    But we do need a little coaching on just how to do that, don’t we? Not a time to be needy ourselves, but rather to sit quietly, at ease with ourselves, letting our skin be soft and the tea warm.

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ll keep it in mind as the younger women in my life have their day entering this wonderful new era.

    Comment by rebecca — September 10, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

  10. this looks fantastic, def need this for the collection. and momma zen is my fave gift to give new mamas.


    Comment by jenica — September 10, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

  11. Oh how I wish I had had a Zuo Yue Zi after the birth of each of my children. I hope to provide this to them when they have little ones of their own.

    Comment by Molly — September 10, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

  12. As I get ready to start a family, this book sounds like heaven. I would love to read it.

    Comment by Andria — September 10, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

  13. My wife will be giving birth any day now. Would be a wonderful addition for her.

    Comment by Adam — September 10, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

  14. Thank You for recommending this book.

    This will be a lovely bit to share with my dear friend who will soon hold the title: Mother.

    Comment by jessica — September 10, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

  15. Nice! I agree with Molly….

    Comment by Edamommy — September 10, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

  16. It sounds beautiful. My husband and I are hoping to conceive our first child soon (maybe already have?). This would be a great help.

    Comment by JD — September 10, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

  17. This book looks amazing!

    Comment by Kristin — September 10, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

  18. I would absolutely love to read this book. I feel that it will come in handy here in a few weeks.

    Comment by Alexandra — September 10, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

  19. Oh boy could I use some zen! 10 1/2 months after giving birth to my son, and my life is still trying to find a “normal”…

    Comment by Katie — September 10, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

  20. A dear friend gave birth one week ago… every time a new babe enters this world, I find myself reliving my own experience, and hope to do for others at least a fraction of what I was afraid to ask for. The vulnerable woman that is a new mama…too many just have no idea. Thanks for sharing this resource.

    Comment by Jennifer — September 10, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

  21. all mamas need this! sometimes, i still wish for this kind of support, and my “baby” is 2!

    Comment by Jenni Derryberry Mann — September 11, 2010 @ 2:21 am

  22. Oh my. This sounds utterly perfect and for some reason, it makes me want to cry. Bless.

    Comment by Goddess Leonie — September 11, 2010 @ 3:52 am

  23. Thanks for sharing the book with us. Especially since I am due October 1!

    Comment by Anna — September 11, 2010 @ 6:43 am

  24. Oh, please count me in. I so wished for this type of treatment after both my babes were born, but it wasn’t available to me. Hopefully this book will help me provide that kind of care to someone close to me in the future.

    Comment by Michelle M — September 11, 2010 @ 9:23 am

  25. What a wonderful giveaway! Yes please!

    Comment by Jill — September 11, 2010 @ 10:52 am

  26. Looks wonderful, thanks for finding it.

    Comment by Aparna — September 11, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

  27. Perfect timing for me. I have a two year old and a baby on the way. With no family near to help out. I am also a prenatal/postnatal yoga teacher so this would also benefit my students. Thanks for being an inspiration!

    Comment by Jennie — September 11, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

  28. What a great book idea! I had help after my two kids were born, but I don’t ever think I let myself “accept” it fully. As American women, we tend to think we can do it all. That’s a life goal for me…to ask and “accept” sincere help when needed whether it’s a new baby, an illness, or just a sweet gesture.


    Comment by Gina McCune — September 11, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

  29. I am a Holistic Nutritionist and mama of a 15 month old boy. After making it through to the other side of my postpartum year, I’ve decided to concentrate my practice on pre & post natal nutrition. In my own experience, I found that my nutritional needs, as well as the emotional and spiritual support that I longed for, was far greater after pregnancy than during pregnancy. It seems that this immensely vulnerable, and powerful time slips under the radar while pregnancy and birth get all the glory and attention. I am committed to helping women feel more nourished, valued, heard and at ease during this time and Sitting Moon would be an incredible resource for me to help achieve this.
    Meghan Ratwell

    Comment by Meghan Rathwell — September 11, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

  30. I love the thought that we need to be healed back into ourselves after we give birth. There is something about that that rings so true.

    Comment by gail — September 11, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

  31. Hoping to win this for my friend who is pregnant. 🙂

    Comment by Kristin — September 11, 2010 @ 9:39 pm

  32. I would love to win this book for my daughter, who will have a baby in January. Thank you for such a wonderful gift!

    Comment by Wylie — September 11, 2010 @ 10:45 pm

  33. what a wonderful giveaway – thank you!

    Comment by phyllis — September 12, 2010 @ 1:14 am

  34. I was lucky. My mother did this for me after the birth of my children. It helped immeasurably and I will always cherish it. There is a difference between relative that visit and a mother who HELPS. How wonderful that someone wrote a book on it!

    Comment by Elaine — September 12, 2010 @ 5:55 am

  35. I am considering becoming a postpartum doula and would love to add this book to my must read list!

    Comment by Katie — September 12, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

  36. What a wonderful suggestion. As a mother of two little ones, I wished I had this encouragement to slow down post-partum. As an Ob/Gyn, I would love ways to encourage people to do the same and be gentle with themselves and the transition to motherhood.

    Comment by Anna — September 13, 2010 @ 12:02 am

  37. Dear Maezen, I would love to read and have your new book. You have given me a healing and focus not possible on my own since hearing your interview on New Dimensions radio and subsequently communicating with you. I would be very grateful to expand this with your book and seeing you in Boston. Thank you very much. Henry Leigh

    Comment by Henry Leigh — September 13, 2010 @ 1:17 am

  38. I wish I had had access to a book like this, too! The “lifetime of ills” part is sort of haunting me–I became gluten-intolerant within a year or two of my son’s birth. And the transition into motherhood was such a jolt that the thought of doing it again was unthinkable. Thank you for sharing this book–both just sharing about it, and actually giving it away to someone who needs it! (I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Hand Wash Cold…)

    Comment by char — September 13, 2010 @ 3:52 am

  39. What a great giveaway! Both sound divine.

    Comment by Anna Katherine — September 13, 2010 @ 5:22 am

  40. I thought one could only dream about a book like this… and here it is! Thank you!

    Comment by Maria — September 13, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  41. What a beautiful idea – to nurture and care for the mother in such a way. It’s too bad our society makes this so difficult. I would love to take a month to care for my sister or dear friend, but work (and paychecks) demand otherwise!

    Comment by Eva @ Eva Evolving — September 13, 2010 @ 4:17 pm

  42. thanks for your thoughtfullness

    Comment by Joanne M — September 13, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

  43. must have this book. what a brilliant idea.

    Comment by lanell — September 13, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

  44. What a wonderful book. I hope the families of many pregnant women read this.

    Comment by Jennifer — September 13, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

  45. I had a baby 10 days ago and I’m experiencing firsthand our culture’s ignorance of a mother’s need for rest and rejuvenation. My mom was supposed to spend this whole week with me (my husband was only able to stay home for one week from work) and in her view a whole week was a few hours on a couple of days. Today she didn’t come at all and said she thought I had it all under control (I also have a 23-month-old). When she was here, she thought that she was here to watch the kids so that I could get things done around the house (cook, clean, bills, etc.). The idea that I might want to rest and recover is completely foreign to her; in fact, she thinks I am lazy.

    Comment by Shana — September 17, 2010 @ 12:12 am

  46. I would love to give this book to my friend who just gave birth…! Thank you

    Comment by Els — September 20, 2010 @ 9:00 am

  47. Oops. I’m far too late…..

    Comment by Els — September 20, 2010 @ 9:27 am

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