From the duration of pregnancy including, preparing for pregnancy to after delivery, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) can be helpful to any expectant mom.
What exactly is TCM?
One of the basic principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that the body’s vital energy or “Qi” circulates through channels, called meridians that connect to different parts of body functions and organs.
A healthy body is one where all the meridians are balanced, and this involves creating a harmonious relationship between your body and the 5 elements of Water, Metal, Earth, Wood and Fire.
An essential part of achieving this balance is via various forms of diet, acupuncture, acupressure, Tui Nah and herbal medicines.
How does this work?
During pregnancy, it is important to keep the qi (energy flow) and blood in harmony to ensure a smooth pregnancy.
The herbs in the prescription help restore the internal balance and state of the body and also help combat some pregnancy-related symptoms, such as nausea and dizziness.
Hence, it is important for anxious mothers to understand the principles behind the herbs before they decide to take them as medicine, nourishment or a tonic, or as practised in old wives’ tales. But a word of caution; if herbs are used inappropriately, side effects such as miscarriages, induced abortions or damages to the foetus may occur.
At any stage of pregnancy, you must let your acupuncturist be aware you are expecting, as there are meridian points you need to avoid. But, if you experience the following, acupuncture can help alleviate discomfort:
• Morning sickness
• Back Pain
• Ligament Pain
• Gestational Diabetes
• Heart Burn
During any pregnancy, it is important to eat foods that support the kidneys and liver as well as replenishing the body’s Yin and Yang. Eating warm and easily digestible foods can help warm the spleen, liver and uterus warm which is essential in any pregnancy. Here are 10 foods that can help.
• Sweet potato: Strengthens the spleen and stomach. Detoxifies the body, treats constipation and edema, is low glycemic, rich in vitamin A, and increases milk production.
• Walnuts: Nourishes kidneys, provides good fat and protein, can treat low back pain and constipation.
• Chicken: Tonifies Qi, warms the body, treats fatigue, postpartum weakness, leg and low back pain.
• Lamb: Nourishes Qi and Blood, aids lactation, postpartum blood loss, and can alleviate back pain. Lamb is not recommended during summer months, as it’s too warming.
• Goji berries: Boost Kidney Yang, and provide high amounts of antioxidants.
• Carrots: Detoxify the body, moisten dryness, promote digestion, benefit the eyes (especially dry eyes), and are rich in vitamin A.
• Salmon: Strengthens the Spleen, tonifies Qi, removes Dampness, treats low energy, hemorrhoids, and postpartum excessive bleeding. Be sure to cook the salmon well and always choose wild salmon over farm produced.
• Garlic: Soothes Liver and is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and detoxifies meat and seafood.
• Spinach: Nourishes the Blood, strengthens all organs, treats constipation, is high in folate, and easy to add into dishes and smoothies.
• Eggs: Nourishes the Yin and Blood, calm the mind, harmonize digestion, and are a wonderful source of protein and iron.
Any combination of moxibustion, and acupuncture can be used to battle fatigue and post partum depression after delivery. This will help with the new mom recovering her strength.
Sources: tcmworld.org, thetot.com, healthxchange.sg
For more information about acupuncture during pregnancy, read the article in our “You May Also Like” section in the below.
Special thanks to Belle Maternity for inspiring this article with by inviting us to their talk with Dr. Evan Pinto on TCM & Herbal Remedies for women wellness. They organize talks for motherhood issues that acre created by Jey (WeChat: Jeydancepilates) and by marie
Are you using TCM during your pregnancy? We would love to hear about your experiences. Leave a comment in the below.