The first few months of pregnancy are a very important time for both you & your baby.
It is a time to nourish & relax your body, keeping your mind as calm as possible.
Traditional Chinese medicine has a long history of advocating that women modify their lifestyle throughout pregnancy, to ensure healthy babies and efficient births. This has involved advice on regulating physical activity, following dietary guidelines and maintaining a calm emotional state.
An early reference to this practice exists in the Records of the Historian which tells how the mother of the first emperor of the Western Zhou dynasty (11th century to 771 B.C.E.) refused to look upon adverse colours, hear indecent sounds, or the utterance of any arrogant words, and because of this she gave birth to a son who achieved great things. Later references to what became known as ‘foetal education’ included recommendations that pregnant women abstain from the use of non-prescribed medications, all alcohol and lifting heavy objects. Advice was also given on taking frequent leisurely walks and regulating sleep (avoiding both excessive sleep and undue fatigue). Abstaining from the seven passions, the five unfavourable tastes and all sexual activity was also seen as essential.
Dr. Xu Zi Cai (493-572 C.E.) detailed beneficial and detrimental foods for each month of pregnancy. During the second month of pregnancy, for example, the mother should avoid pungent, hot or drying foods, and if women experienced abdominal or umbilical fullness and a bearing down sensation in the third month, rooster soup should be taken.
As a woman approached the completion of her pregnancy, Dr. Xu Zi Cai advised that she concentrate her qi in the lower dantian, three cun below her umbilicus, to promote the growth of the foetus’s joints and its mental development.