Pregnancy can be a magical time, as expecting mothers ready themselves to welcome a new family member along with their partners. It is a time of tremendous excitement- but also stress. Expecting mothers tend to receive advice and home remedies from countless sources, especially during their first pregnancy. The issue is that a lot of advice of this nature can be contradictory and it is often difficult to understand what is genuine advice and what is simply conjecture. For this reason, we decided to compile some of the most helpful pregnancy tips provided in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, each and every pregnant woman is a unique case to be handled in accordance with their body, as every person does not respond in an identical manner to the same treatment. However, there are certain principles that pregnant women can follow (unless they have reason to believe their bodies would not react well to these principles).

1. Exercise within Moderation- Staying active during pregnancy is extremely important to the health of an expecting mother. However, there is a balance that needs to be struck as hard exercises can put both the foetus and the expecting mother at risk. Exercise helps stimulate the flow of chi and blood throughout the body, which benefits both the expecting mother and the foetus. The flow of one’s chi at the maximum level reduces the likelihood of small, nagging illnesses that could end up having a disproportionate effect on the pregnancy, and ensure that the expecting mother is as healthy as possible when it is time to welcome the baby into the world.

2. Observe your emotions- One of the aspects of pregnancy that is never discussed enough are the extreme emotions that women can experience during the course of a pregnancy as a result of all the hormones being released. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, extremes of any emotion have a negative effect on one’s chi and can end up adversely affecting the health of the mother-to-be.

Extreme happiness can reduce the flow of heart chi, while extreme sadness weakens the chi flow in the kidneys. Anger can cause heat in the lungs, while gloom stagnates the chi flow in the spleen. What this illustrates is that extremes of any emotion are not ideal, whether that emotion is positive or negative. Extreme emotions cause fatigue to both the expecting mother and the foetus, and slow the flow of chi- making calming exercises and observing one’s emotions a cornerstone of a healthy pregnancy.

3. Eat Healthy Foods- During a pregnancy, what you avoid eating can be just as important as what you do actually eat. There are certain foods that should be avoided as they can negatively impact one’s body (as well the foetus), adding unnecessary complications to an already complicated condition. Foods with hot spices have been known to cause eczema on the skin of the foetus in many cases, while oily foods have the potential to cause damage to the spleen of the expecting mother as they are hard to digest. Cold energy foods such as beans, sprouts, asparagus and watermelon have been known to slow down the activity of the spleen and enzymatic actions in the stomach, and should therefore be avoided as well. Salty foods should be avoided after the first seven months of pregnancy as well, as they have the potential to cause inflammation.

4. Use Herbs Judiciously- Pregnancy can have a multitude of effects on the body- whether that is fatigue, swollen ankles, back pain, stomach issues or any number of other common conditions. There are a number of herbs as per Traditional Chinese Medicine that can alleviate these symptoms, but the herbs and dosage vary on a case-by-case basis, and should be prescribed by an expert to avoid any adverse effects.

While these are some general tips to aid a pregnancy, it is critical to remember that everybody is unique. Specific advice from an expert tailored to your exact condition will likely benefit you far more than generic advice based on thousands upon thousands of past cases. For the best possible advice, consult an expert in Traditional Chinese medicine who is able to tailor his or her advice based on your specific symptoms. For pregnant women looking to destress we offer a specialised pregnancy massage. Book your appointment today!