The Childbearing Journey with Emma Lee

October 19th, 2015 by

Traditional Chinese Medicine and our Childbearing Journey: A 12-Part series

For women and men alike

Licensed acupuncturist and herbalist Emma Lee will be following this journey through preconception to postpartum and everything in between. The first 3 months will focus on preconception time, then 2 months for each of the three trimesters, followed by 3 months for postpartum. We will focus on common problems and howTraditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, and Western Herbal Medicine may help.

Part 1: Preconception

Your baby is no more than a tiny seed…in your heart and mind. You may feel uber confident in beginning the process of becoming a mother or father, or you may feel incredibly intimidated by the thought of being responsible for another human being, and you may feel both these ways on the very same day! Either way, there are more than a few things to consider. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that each child is born with a certain amount and quality of Prenatal Essence, which is made up of Essence from both parents. You and your baby partner, if there is one in the picture, can actually strengthen your Postnatal Essence which will in turn affect that of your offspring. In Chinese medicine, Essence controls reproduction, the quality of your Qi in general, good looks and general stamina. Some ways to increase yours include:

-Qi enhancing practices such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi, yoga, receiving regular bodywork/acupuncture, exercise of a medium intensity, spending lots of time outdoors, laughing often, and generally appreciating yourself and your life.

-Working on eating better. Everyone has their own opinions about food, my own personal one is that you should eat what feels good to you. If you aren’t sure what that is, work on tuning in to how your body responds to different foods. Feel bloated and achey if you eat too much bread or pizza? Eat less! Trouble sleeping or anxiety after that 3rd cup of coffee? Don’t drink it! Etc. If there are any problems conceiving I’ll have some more in depth advice for you in the months to come, but remember, don’t make food stressful. It should be fun.

-Get plenty of good quality sleep. Going to bed not too long after the sun sets to ensure at least 8 hours really helps. Also eliminating time around techno gadgets before bed and not keeping any in your bedroom is a good idea. Pay attention also to how alcohol may be affecting your sleep patterns and drink less if it is.


Now ladies, if you are on the birth control pill remember that it can take a little while after going off it to conceive so work that into your plans. For some women it takes no time at all to restore normal cycles and fertility, but I have seen many women who have been on the pill for a while take a couple of years to get back on track. Guys, remember that smoking a lot of pot can really actually affect your sperm count so don’t mess with your chances! Even with completely healthy conditions conception can take a year or more to achieve, and remember this too. We only have so much control and the rest is up to…I don’t know, who? Not you. Baby making can be a mysterious business so be patient with yourselves and the process, and trust.


Next month we will discuss how to chart your menstrual cycle and why you might want to, ovulation predictor kits, cervical mucus and how to be your most juiciest, and sex drive. So stay tuned!



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