Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a long history of treating and preventing miscarriages. While some miscarriages are inevitable, it is reassuring to know that there are treatment options available, especially in cases of threatened miscarriage. According to TCM, one of the most common causes of miscarriage is a deficiency of Spleen and Kidney energy leading to deficiency of qi and blood.
These deficiencies result in the uterus not getting enough blood supply to support sufficient growth and nourishment of the foetus, resulting in miscarriage. In order to prevent miscarriage, women should ensure that their body is balanced even before planning a pregnancy. This can take time, and in some instances some fairly drastic lifestyle changes are required.
Work and family commitments should be re-arranged where necessary to avoid overdoing it and depleting the qi. Working long hours depletes the qi, there is no way around it.
Ask for help where necessary. If you are looking after young children and are exhausted, ask your partner/family/friends for some help, be specific, chances are they have no idea how run down you are and would love to help if only they knew how. Exercise should be kept to a minimum, and only at a low intensity, walking is perfect.
If you have a previous history of miscarriage, it is important to take some time to allow your body to recover and replenish qi and blood before attempting to fall pregnant again. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be of great benefit here. If you are currently pregnant, have a history of miscarriage and feel that you have not fully replenished your energy, don’t panic! Slow down, relax and make an appointment to see a local TCM practitioner. Acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbs can be prescribed to prevent threatened miscarriage and are very effective. There is no effective conventional (Western) medical treatment for threatened miscarriage to date, however any vaginal bleeding during pregnancy should be reported to your doctor.
The following is a very popular congee (rice porridge) dish in China that has been used for many years as a preventive measure for miscarriage. This dish can be eaten three times a week, before or during pregnancy. Lotus seeds are a medicinal food in Chinese Medicine and can be used to strengthen the Spleen and Kidney energies to prevent miscarriage. Red dates are nutrient rich, a good source of fibre and iron, and act to tonify the blood. Red dates and lotus seeds are available from Asian grocers.
Red Date Lotus Seed Congee
1 Handful of white rice
15 Lotus seeds
10 Chinese red dates, rinsed
500ml-800ml (approx. 2-3 cups) of water
Soak Lotus Seeds for 2-3 hours before cooking
Cook rice and lotus seeds in 500ml-800ml water on simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice softens.
NB Do not eat Lotus seeds if suffering from a cold or flu or have a fever.
Sally has a Bachelor of Health Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine) from the University of Technology Sydney and a Diploma of Health Science in Eastern Massage therapy (Shiatsu and Tuina) from the Canberra Institute of Technology.