By senior physician Zhong Xi Ming, Eu Yan Sang Premier TCM Centre @ Paragon
Many mummies worry about their babies being born premature and will wish that their little one stays inside their tummy longer. However, staying inside for too long if not ideal either, as this puts both mother and baby at risk.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there may be a few causes of overdue pregnancy due to the lack of Qi and blood in the mother’s body. The good news is that there are several methods that can aid the smooth delivery for mothers who have carried their baby to full term.
TCM aims to correct this using herbal medication to nourish and restore balance in the body. Physicians apply diagnostic methods to evaluate a person’s body constitution and prescribe herbal formulae suitable based on their condition. For mothers with Qi deficiency, herbal medication that nourishes the Qi will be prescribed. This aids the expectant mother in smooth delivery of the baby by providing energy required to push the baby through the birth canal.
Other herbal medications that are commonly prescribed to induce labour include are those that nourish the kidney system and blood or remove blood stasis. It is documented in gynaecological TCM classics that expectant mothers are often found to have blood and kidney Qi deficiency as the nutrients in the mother’s body are used to provide nutrition to the unborn fetus. Thus, through nourishing the blood and kidney, expectant mothers will have enough energy required during the labour process.
Expectant mothers are emotionally delicate and can get depressed at times. This category of pregnant women is often susceptible to Qi stagnation and blood stasis, which may delay the delivery date. Physicians often employ different methods to improve the mood of the expectant mother and improve the flow of Qi and blood in the body to prevent such a delay.
Another method that can prevent overdue pregnancy is through to stimulate the onset of smooth delivery. Several specific acupoints on the hands and feet are chosen for this method and based on ancient TCM texts, when acupoints are stimulated, they facilitate the birth process are used to prevent overdue pregnancies.
TCM also helps the expectant mother regulate her constitution to prevent premature births. Premature births are more commonly observed in expectant mothers who have kidney Qi deficiency, Qi and blood deficiency, blood heat syndromes or they may have encountered trauma or were infected by pathogens. Therefore, TCM practitioners will prescribe different herbal medication to restore balance in the body and aid in the healing process.
A variety of techniques are used to ensure that the expectant mother is in the pink of health as this is crucial for smooth delivery of the fetus and prevents complications during delivery. These techniques aim to benefit both the expectant mother and the unborn fetus’s health by preventing the occurrence of both premature birth and overdue pregnancy.
Zhong Xi Ming is a senior physician at Eu Yan Sang Premier TCM Centre @ Paragon. She received her Graduate Certificate in TCM from Hubei University of Chinese Medicine Faculty of Medicine in 1984. Eu Yan Sang combines the best of east-west healthcare practices with the 33 TCM clinics and 2 integrative medical centres in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Malaysia.
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