Postnatal care with TCM in Singapore: Recovery and restoring balance after childbirth
Postnatal care with TCM in Singapore: TCM can help in alleviating post-pregnancy issues such as mastitis, back pain, post-natal hair loss etc
Being a new mum is not easy. Be it sleepless nights spent feeding your newborn, countless backaches, or returning to your pre-pregnancy weight, post-pregnancy life can seem a little rocky.
In fact, some of the top issues new parents struggle most with are sleeplesness, feeding the baby, and recovering from birth.
With its deep understanding of the body’s workings, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be a practical solution for new mothers seeking to heal and recuperate post-birth.
Postnatal care with TCM in Singapore: What you need to know
How can TCM help in alleviating post-pregnancy issues such as mastitis, back pain and post-natal hair loss, scarring and constipation?
After childbirth, a woman’s body goes through a variety of hormonal and metabolic changes. These may contribute to common post-pregnancy ailments.
From Traditional Chinese Medicine’s perspective, childbirth depletes blood, Qi and other vital substances. It may also cause internal obstructions due to poor blood flow.
These conditions, together with inadequate post-natal care, may contribute to post-pregnancy conditions. Examples of which are mastitis, back pain and post-natal hair loss, scarring and constipation.
Consulting a TCM physician will help determine the root cause and reduce your discomfort through treatment.
Consultations with a TCM practitioner begins with an assessment of one’s body condition.
TCM evaluates one’s body conditions and syndromes to come up with a unique treatment plan.
Depending on body conditions and constitutions, a physician may advise different treatments, including herbal medication, acupuncture and tuina, or a combination of the three.
You may see improvements soon after beginning TCM treatment. This is because it helps to alleviate the symptoms, harmonising the body’s system to address the root of the problem.
Are there any issues with consuming western medicine and TCM at the same time?
This is a common apprehension for patients, who may worry about possible incompatibilities between Western treatment and TCM.
However, patients should rest assured as long as practitioners are aware of concurrent treatments so they take necessary.
Recently, it has become increasingly common for patients to seek an amalgamation of TCM and western treatment options to optimise their treatment. TCM approaches the body from a holistic point of view. It can help to improve the body’s overall condition, and be synergised with western treatments.
Here are a few tips to note when taking western medicine and TCM concurrently:
- Always inform your TCM practitioner about your medical condition, medical history, prescribed medications, upcoming procedures and surgeries or if you are currently breastfeeding. This helps your physician to fully understand your condition and prescribe your medication accordingly.
- Take herbal medication at least 2 hours apart from any western medication or supplements unless advised otherwise. In certain cases, your physician may recommend longer intervals.
- Lastly, if you have any concerns or questions about your treatment, do not hesitate to ask your TCM physician to clear your doubts.
Are mothers required to observe any lifestyle changes or dietary restrictions when following TCM, and are there any possible side effects to doing so?
Besides TCM, one’s diet and lifestyle habits may also have a significant impact on their health. During a consultation, the physician may suggest certain lifestyle and dietary changes that are beneficial for post-natal recovery.
Dietary restrictions depend largely on an individual’s conditions and body constitutions. Generally, post-pregnancy body constitutions are prone to deficiency syndromes. They benefit more from foods warm or neutral in nature. Cooling foods may exacerbate body deficiencies and ultimately weaken the spleen.
New mothers should also try to avoid alcohol, as well as cold and raw foods including cold beverages, ice cream, salad and raw fish.
Instead, opt for foods that are warm in nature.
While warm foods are recommended, they should be taken in moderation – particularly for those breastfeeding. Too much of these foods can cause heat to accumulate in the body, which contributes to mastitis.
Like dietary restrictions, food recommendations for new mothers also depend on their body constitutions. In general, new mothers are advised to go for a varied, healthy, nutritious, easily-digestible diet. This is done to replenish the blood and Qi lost during childbirth.
One should note that general food recommendations may not necessarily work for all body types.
A case in point: New mothers are advised to consume red date and longan tea post-delivery for warmth. But they should stick to warm water if they feel signs of 'heatiness' coming on.
Foods that help to promote warmth sans 'heatiness' include ginger, red and black beans, coix seeds and Chinese yam.
To make herbal remedies, practitioners combine safe, naturally-sourced herbs that complement one another to treat imbalances in your body.
Always consult a registered TCM practitioner before taking any herbal medication. Inform your physician about your conditions and activities, including breastfeeding.
Ultimately, the best post natal care is one that’s tailored to an individual’s body constitutions and lifestyle. All new mothers seeking TCM treatments should seek professional advice to determine the treatments most appropriate for them.
Have you experienced postnatal care with TCM in Singapore? Share more about it with us in the comments below!