There are many things that Chinese medicine can help with before, during and after pregnancy. Improving
fertility, strengthening the parents’ essence so that the baby they conceive has a SIGNIFICANTLY stronger
constitution, settling morning sickness, points each trimester to significantly strengthen the fetus and pregnancy
generally, turning a breach presentation especially around 32 weeks, preparing and softening the cervix in
preparation for delivery, and post-partum advice.
In today’s article, I’d like to offer some suggestions for after delivery. Please note, for those mothers whose
pregnancy ends in a miscarriage, ALL of these suggestions apply, if not MORE so. Arguably, a miscarriage is
physically harder on the mother than a full term pregnancy.
1. Seriously consider keeping your placenta and getting it dried and powdered so it can be encapsulated
and ingested by the mother, or find some way for the placenta to be saved, and ingested by the
mother. It is SO nourishing for the mother. For some, this will be enough to prevent post-partum
depression. Some of the powder can even be added to your milk if your baby needs calming!
2. Wrap the mother’s abdomen with a long strip of soft warm fabric. The Japanese call this a “hara”
belt. Wear this for a minimum of 12-24 hours, but it would be more beneficial if worn for a full
month post-partum. Wrap the abdomen while you are lying down, pull the abdominal organs UP,
and finish wrapping the abdomen, and tie securely.
3. Eat and drink only warm, cooked, foods and beverages. Not only do we NOT want to introduce
coldness into the mother’s body at this more vulnerable time, but also, we want to maximize the
digestion and thus energy and blood creation after delivery. This is done by ingesting nutrient dense
foods, that are not inherently difficult to digest. Save the raw veggies, cold drinks etc. for at least
month. In Chinese medicine, it is the Spleen that nourishes the baby. It is also the organ system
(along with the pancreas) that extracts the nutrients from the food. We need to warm, nourish and
support Spleen functioning as much as possible at this time.
4. Consider taking some quality Chinese herbs to nourish the mother. Remember, for the last 9
months, the mother has been tending to the needs of the baby FIRST before her own physical needs.
Thus, very often, the mother ends up deficient and/or depleted after pregnancy. The month after
delivery is the MOST effective time to redress this. Formulations like Rx: gui pi tang, and/or shi quan
da bu wan are safe, gentle, and effective.
5. Consider using Chinese herbs to ensure the entire placenta is passed. It can take up to 3 days.
6. Consider doing moxibustion homework daily to nourish and strengthen the mother. There is a
separate article on my site explaining the details of how to do this. Some of the best points to use
would be: S36, Sp6, Sp9, K3, K7, Ren 6 (especially for the 1st 3 days), Ren 4, Liv 3, LI4.
7. Organize things so that you can take the 1st month off, after your baby is born. Rest, sleep, feed your
baby, take mild exercise as you wish, be fed (do not the the cook or bottle washer), and take some
time! Visiting with a new babe and mother is wonderful for the rest of us, but, please limit even your
visiting for the first month so that it is not at all tiring!
8. Eat liver. Paté works! Well sourced liver is not contaminated, and is VERY nourishing! Or capsules…
1. Get a chill. Sit on ANYTHING COLD. Move around with a bare bottom. Your energy channels in and
through your pelvis are more OPEN than at any other time. You do not want to introduce cold deep
into the body at this vulnerable time. It will cause disturbance and/or disease.
2. “Power through” after your pregnancy, even if you feeling quite strong. You will NOT have this
month back to rest and rejuvenate again. It can truly be a critical healing time. It is not uncommon
for chronic fatigue to result if this rest period is skipped! Besides, you almost certainly will have
friends and family who would be willing to “take a shift” of making you nourishing hot meals, if your
partner is not able to fill this gap.
IF YOU NEED TO INCREASE MILK PRODUCTION:
1. Make and ingest:
a. Pork knuckle soup: Wash knuckles, and cook in water with grated fresh ginger root, chopped
green onions, peanuts and rice wine.
b. Fish soup: Put into serving bowl/dish: Shredded lettuce, grated fresh ginger root, chopped green
onions. Thinly slice raw fish (of choice) and put onto the lettuce/veggies in the bowl. Add boiling
bone broth to the bowl’s contents and leave it to “cook”. Enjoy.