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TCM Tips for Postpartum Recovery Website | Yi TCM

Guidance for Postpartum Mother’s Health and Appearance

26 Feb 2024

By: Aileen Chua

by Physician Aileen Chua

Goal:

The goal for postpartum recovery is to ensure that the body goes back to the pre-pregnancy state, or even better. The womb has provided all of its nutrients to the baby and we need to replenish the loss. The body is “empty” and we need to fill it up. During this time, we have to work on replenishing Qi and blood, prevent wind from entering the body, maintain circulation, remove water retention, strengthen the bones and muscles and take care of the mental wellbeing of the mother.

Motherhood can be physically and mentally taxing, and this is the golden period to brace the body for it. This postpartum recovery can last between 28 days to 3 months, you can choose how long you want to adhere to the postpartum recovery routine for.

Common Postpartum Problems
  • Emotions
  • Fatigue
  • Pain from delivery
  • Breastmilk supply or Engorgement
  • Heatiness
  • Weight loss
Food to take for Postpartum Recovery

To take food and herbs that help with the following:
1. Remove clots to clear the womb
2. Remove water retention
3. Help with wound recovery
4. Ensure good blood circulation
5. Replenish the nutrients
6. Warm the womb
7. Remove “wind” from the body
8. Increase flow of breastmilk, as well as maintain good flow of the breast milk to prevent painful engorgement.

For womb and general health recovery:

1. Ginger (Bentong Ginger)
2. Turmeric (Can add turmeric powder to a warm cup of milk)
3. Sesame Oil
4. Black Vinegar
5. Rice Wine
6. D.O.M Benedictine (in moderation, 1-2times a week)

To increase breastmilk supply and replenish nutrients for the postpartum body:
  1. Green Papaya
  2. Fish (Salmon, Cod Fish, Threadfin)
  3. Meat (Black chicken, lean pork meat, beef, pork liver and kidney)
  4. Oats
  5. Almonds & Sesame seeds
  6. Dark green vegetables or spinach, broccoli, green peas, black beans, red beans
  7. Herbal soups with meat
General Herbs for Postpartum Recovery
Week 1:
  • Focus on blood circulation to help with clearing the womb and water retention
  • Help with the production of breastmilk
  • Nourish the digestive system to improve appetite to help replenish nutrients lost
  • Herbs: 生化汤、四神汤、麦芽
Week 2:
  • Focus on replenishing Qi and Blood
  • Continue to nourish the digestive system
  • Continue to help production of breast milk, at the same time help with the smooth flow of milk
  • Herbs: 八珍汤、四神汤、麦芽
Week 3 & 4:
  • Same as Week 2
  • Work on nourishing the kidneys and rejuvenate the reproductive system
  • To strengthen the lower back, bones and muscles
  • Herbs: 八珍汤、四神汤、杜仲、泡参、花胶
Daily Herbal Tea usually includes:
  1. Red dates 红枣
  2. Longan 龙眼肉
  3. Wolfberries 枸杞子
  4. Codonopsis Radix 党参

Drink throughout the day, supplement with warm water if you feel heaty or thirsty easily.

Herbal Tea for TCM Singapore | Yi TCM

 

If you need a set of herbs specially tailored to your individual body constitution, feel free to drop by our clinics for a consultation with any of our physicians from Week 34 onwards! 🙂

Self Care
Services to Engage in:
  1. Confinement nanny: Nanny to help to look after your newborn while you recuperate, so that you can rest properly for this period and only have to focus on breastfeeding (pumping/latching), sleeping, getting used to motherhood and regulating the emotions.
  2. Postpartum massage: Helps with increasing milk supply, prevents engorgement, reduces water retention, helps the uterus contract back to its original size, reduces muscles tensions.
Emotionally:
  • You might feel very emotional due to the changes your body is going through, many focus on how labour is going to be, but there is very little information about how you will feel after the delivery.
  • Breastfeeding can be painful and stressful too. Engorgement and low milk supply each has its own set of problems.
  • You can be constantly tired due to the feeding and interrupted sleep, the body will also naturally feel more tired after going through so much, from pregnancy to delivery.
  • There might be postpartum pain lasting 1-2 weeks. For mummies who went through C-Sec, the pain might last longer.
  • You are constantly feeling hot and sticky, and maybe smelly, all these might make you feel just lousy about yourself.
  • Rest as much as you can when possible, try to outsource for help as much as you can. Focus on your recovery and feeding the baby.
  • If you are feeling down all the time, it would be good to seek professional help.
  • In terms of TCM, acupuncture and cupping can help with postpartum blues by relieving tension, helping with sleep and calming the body.
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Physically:
  • Shower (herbal bath to help remove wind and warm the body, you can wash your hair once every 1-3 days but wash in the day and blow dry immediately).
  • Wear long pants and slippers at home to keep warm and prevent cold, wind and dampness from entering the weakened body.
  • Avoid being in direct contact of wind, because the pores are open during confinement and the body is deficient in Qi & blood, which makes wind, dampness and cold easy to enter the body, resulting in aches, skin allergies etc. in the long run.
  • Pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor. This helps prevent postpartum incontinence or frequent urination.
Confinement Cheatsheet by TCM Doctor Singapore | Yi TCM