Traditional Chinese Medicine for Pregnancy, Labor & Delivery and Post Partum Care

Fertility- Need a strong foundation of Blood and Yin to conceive and carry a child.
Acupuncture, herbs and diet can help prepare the body for a healthy pregnancy.
•    Regulate the menses.
•    Encourage blood flow to the uterus.
•    Relax the patient and calm the mind.
•    Increase fertile cervical fluids
•    Aid assisted reproductive technology.
•    Decrease endometriosis
•    Treat PCOS

Dietary Suggestions:
Eggs, Omega 3 fatty acids, wheat germ, *quality red meat, chicken, almonds, gogi berries (gou qi zi)

Pregnancy: Full of Qi and Blood. Connect with the child within.
Acupuncture, herbs and diet can assist in alleviating:
•    Threatened miscarriage
•    Nausea
•    Sciatic pain
•    Nose Bleeds
•    Stress
•    Headache
•    Reflux
•    Hemorrhoids
•    Leg Cramps
Assist in:
•    Relaxation
•    Breech presentation
•    Labor induction
•    Stalled labor

Dietary Suggestions: ginger for nausea, vitamin C rich foods: broccoli, cabbage, grapefruits, lemons, peppers, strawberries, calcium rich foods: hijiki, brick cheese, wheat grass, sardines, nori, almonds, amanranth, wheat germ, floradix, raspberry leaf tea, B12

Postpartum Care: Postpartum Recovery-Loss of Qi and Blood

Some treatable symptoms are:
•    Insufficient lactation
•    Hair loss
•    Insomnia
•    Night sweats
•    Brittle nails
•    Depression
•    Back Ache
•    Shoulder pain

Dietary suggestions: root vegetables, chicken soup, *high quality red meat, ox tail, marrow, beets, molasses, spirulina, green magma, fish oils, black sesame seeds, seaweeds, fennel, spelt bread, berries, pomegranate, wakame

*Dietary suggestions from Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford

Book Suggestions:

Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Toni Weschler
The Complete Guide of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Sheila Kitzinger
Healing With Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford
Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Elson Haas
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, James and Phyllis Balch

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Postpartum Anxiety

I read an article yesterday in Cookie Magazine at my local soup shop about postpartum anxiety and I realized that I see more women suffering from postpartum anxiety than postpartum depression. The need for modern woman to wear so many hats is definitely taking its toll on women’s sanity. Women are waiting longer to have babies and requiring more and more assisted reproductive technology. Plus we are supposed to have thriving careers, perfect bodies and clean homes…how can we do it all?

In Chinese Medicine birthing is considered the biggest drain on a woman’s essence or jing.

Jing is basically your battery reserve of strength for life. Everyone is born with a certain amount at birth and the levels are steadily used to sustain life. Jing essence is exceedingly difficult to replace (some ancients believe that qi gong, meditation and a few supplements like cordyceps can do so).

Jing is drawn steadily from the kidneys to support the aging process and is burned rapidly through stressful events, medications and stimulants that tap the adrenals. It is far better to pull the energy you need from the food you eat and sleep you get than use your reserves.

In order to do everything that you can to preserve Jing traditional culture recommends rising with the sun and sleeping with the setting sun, resting during the menses, avoiding intercourse during the menses and refraining from stimulants.

Postpartum anxiety is a syndrome where the mother is overly anxious, suffering from paranoid thoughts, obsessive compulsive behaviors, sleep disorders and physical issues like palpitations. Many women are stressed about the well-being of the baby and even possibly concerned that they will harm their own baby (i havent met anyone with this extreme condition). If your condition persists for more that two weeks or you have thoughts of harming your baby, you need to speak with your Dr immediately.

From a TCM point of view postpartum women are extremely blood deficient. The body’s blood volume has practically doubled throughout pregnancy to support the fetus; the hair gets luxurious, nails long and strong and little wrinkles disappear. Postpartum is a different story. Childbirth itself is pretty bloody-especially if you have had a C-section. Nursing also depletes the bodies fluid levels. When blood and fluid levels get low there is a phenomenon in Chinese medicine called Liver Blood or/or Heart Blood/Yin Deficiency. This can manifest as disturbed sleep, palpitations, dry mouth, agitation, anxiety, trouble concentrating…

Chinese medicine treats postpartum anxiety really well. There are many classical herbal formulas to address both the root and symptom of postpartum anxiety or if you are concerned about taking herbs and nursing acupuncture alone may be the way to go.

Dietary therapy is helpful as well. I always make sure a woman is taking:

  • Fish Oil

  • Floradix: veggie iron supplement

  • Eating Black foods to nourish the Kidneys (home to Jing Essence): black beans, fish, black sesame seeds, molasses, seaweed

  • Also consider: dandelion and nettles to boost iron and calcium