You've heard about the miracles of TCM during this period. How does it work?
Confinement is a critical time for new mothers to adapt and recuperate their health. As this may be a totally new experience for some mothers, breastfeeding and looking after a newborn are exhausting. Thus, many new mothers may find little time to look after themselves and hence conditions such as insomnia, fatigue or depression may be easily triggered.
In TCM, the confinement period is crucial for the mother's body system, which had just undergone the physical demands of pregnancy and delivery to recuperate. In this article, we are going to discuss one of the most common problems most new mums will face – Lochiorrhea.
What is Lochia/Lochiorrhea?
Lochia refers to vaginal discharge after delivery of baby. This usually consists of remnant blood, debris and serous fluids from the womb in the first 6 weeks. Lochiorrhea is excessive amount of lochia especially after more than 3 weeks. Lochiorrhea must be treated as soon as possible to prevent excessive blood loss that will lead to anemia.
How TCM views Lochiorrhea
In TCM, it is believed that Lochiorrhea can be mostly attributed to three main causes: Qi
deficiency (气虚), buildup of Internal Heat (内热扰胞宫) as well as Blood Stasis (血瘀).
1. Qi deficiency – Manifests with pale red bleeding without odour, weakness of the limbs,
shortness of breath, reluctance to speak and a pale red tongue. Treatment is to nourish
“Qi” and restore blood loss.
2. Build-up of Internal Heat – Manifests with a sticky, bright red bleeding with a foul odour,
dry mouth, flushed cheeks and a red tongue. TCM aims to nourish Yin to clear away the
accumulated internal heat.
3. Blood Stasis – Manifests with dark red bleeding with a considerable amount of blood
clots, pain in the lower abdomen and a purplish tongue. Treatment is to improve blood
circulation and regulate blood flow.
Due to safety concerns of TCM herbs for breastfeeding mothers, it is advisable to only take
TCM herbs that are prescribed by a certified TCM physician. Coupled with proper rest,
lifestyle and diet, TCM will help mothers recuperate at a faster pace.