“You come here to learn how to enjoy life. You have to discover you are sleeping under a diamond and don’t know it.“ - Nan Lu

Pre & Post Pregnancy

The Traditional Chinese Approach to Childbirth

The health of the parents at the time of conception translates directly into the quality of the child’s constitution. Traditionally, the nine-month period of pregnancy was a time for the parents to focus on nurturing the developing baby.  The mother is physically and spiritually the vessel into which the unborn child is placed, and so her state of health in every way is of the greatest importance.

According to TCM, the child inherits Inborn Qi from the parents. Inborn Qi is really an individual’s energy foundation—it cannot be changed and it is finite in amount.

Stored in the Kidney, its quality and quantity are determined by the Qi of both the mother and father (and the Qi of their respective ancestors); the nature of the mother’s pregnancy; and the time, place and circumstances of the child’s birth. This type of Qi determines the child’s basic constitution (physical and mental) and governs his or her growth and development.

What you can do before pregnancy to produce a healthy and intelligent baby? Begin to clean up your body! Make it a healthy environment for your unborn child.

Preparing for Pregnancy

  • Reduce your stress
  • Cut back on your workload
  • Sleep early in the evening and take naps when tired during the day
  • Reduce the time you use wireless devices
  • Eat healthy foods such as in-season vegetables and hormone-free fruits when possible
  • Avoid cold and raw foods
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Eat more fish
  • Participate in a Dragon’s Way Qigong program to re-balance your body
  • Visit an acupuncturists and assess your energy level

These efforts are seen as gifting the child with a strong constitution and the foundation for a lifetime of good health. The child will receive the “energy message”—body, mind and spirit—of the parents.

While pregnant we suggest the following:

  • Reduce your stress
  • Reduce exposure to environmental toxins including a reduction in cell phone use
  • Cut back on your workload
  • Sleep early in the evening and take naps when tired during the day
  • Send a peaceful message to your baby
  • Listen to classical music
  • Relax in nature and absorb her messages
  • Eat healthy foods, such as in-season vegetables and hormone-free fruits when possible
  • Avoid beverages and cold and raw foods
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Eat foods that are easy to digest—no cold salads
  • If you have participated in a Dragon’s Way program prior to conception, continue to practice “number ten“.

Post Pregnancy

TCM views childbirth  as a “gateway,” a door into a uniquely different and potentially enhanced state of health and being. A woman’s body and mind are undergoing tremendous changes at these times. Once a child is born, a woman’s body is very open. After childbirth a woman can be weakened, but if particular care is taken, it can also be an opportunity for her to be strengthened. A great emphasis must be placed on taking very good care of the new mother.

The month-long period after birth is called “zuo yue zi” (literally, “sit this month”). During this time, the new mother should relax and do as little as possible. Because the mother is the primary source of nourishment for the child, she should be nurtured so that she can provide the very best care for the child.

Things to do after delivery:

  • Avoid all things cold: no cold beverages, no cold or uncooked foods, and no cold water in terms of bathing*
  • Avoid air-conditioning
  • Do not use ice packs
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Continue to eat healthy foods, including fish
  • If possible, do not return to work too soon
  • Take herbal supplements to support rebuilding your Qi.**

* After giving birth, a woman has lost a lot of blood. In TCM theory, blood and Qi, or vital life energy, are linked; so the loss of blood leads to the loss of Qi. The mother is therefore weak and very vulnerable to catching cold. At this time it is easy for cold to penetrate deep into the meridians. This condition could later lead to symptoms such as pain in the muscles or joints, or a type of nerve pain. Where the pain develops is where the cold remained in the body. Even in summer a new mother would be advised to take care not to expose herself to cold conditions.

** Women are often given herbs after childbirth to build their Qi and blood. There are classical herbal formulas that address these conditions by stimulating the circulation of Qi and blood. It’s not uncommon for women to undergo strong emotional changes after their child is born.  Many women experience postpartum depression. In these cases, herbs are prescribed to help stabilize the emotions.