herbal medicine postpartum

Herbal Medicine for Postpartum

Herbal medicine for postpartum

One of my favourite ways to support mums postpartum is through diet and herbal medicine. It is an accessible and super safe way to gentle nourish the body after pregnancy and labor.

This is also one of the best ways to plan ahead for postpartum nourishment during the later stages of pregnancies. Most of my patients in their third trimester have begun food prep and meal planning. With some strategic planning, we can enhance the meal prep to make sure the body is recovering and regaining strength.

Dietary recommendations postpartum

  • Goji berries – great for recovery and blood building.
  • Warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, nutmeg, black or white pepper, cardamom, orange peel, and fennel. *Ginger is great for postpartum because of its warming properties and ability to help shrink the uterus.*
  • All kinds of broth!  chicken, beef, fish, mushroom and seaweed. Drink it like a cup of coffee, cook grains with it or make soup or stew with it *the tip I always recommend, is making a big batch of broth, and freezing it into ice cube trays so for daily consumption, pour boiling water over 1-2 broth cubes and consume in a coffee or travel mug*
  • Seaweed is mineral rich, high in protein and iron. Great option for miso soup!
  • Mushrooms (shitake, chaga, reishi) are great immune boosters.
  • Eggs to nourish the body and the rebuild after blood loss.
  • Teas: Nettle is high in iron and can help with immunity. Red raspberry leaf supports uterine health and mothers milk tea by traditional medicine is a great!

Herbal medicine post partum

For some, dietary recommendations alone are not enough to help with the symptoms presenting. In cases, herbal formulas can provide a bit stronger benefit (while still being safe for breastfeeding).

I will prescribe herbs such as:

  • Astragalus: immune boosting, helpful for energy levels and fatigue, for prolapse
  • Ginseng: warming and nourishing, immune boosting, for some can help with anxiety due to deficiency after labor
  • White peony: nourished the blood, reproductive blood flow
  • Dong Quai/ Angelica: blood building

*these are an example of herbs used and is not to be used in lieu of a personalized prescription*

For a customized diet or herbal plan for your postpartum recovery, please call 1 778 400 6360.

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herbal medicine postpartum

Third Trimester – Pregnancy Acupuncture

The final stretch – the third trimester

It may feel as if there’s no way your belly can get any bigger, but there’s no doubt about it —  it will get bigger over the course of the third trimester of pregnancy. A lot bigger. Here’s what to expect from your body and your rapidly-maturing baby in these final few weeks.

Some commonly asked questions about these last few weeks

How long is the third trimester?

Week 29 – Week 40 (birth)

How is my body preparing for delivery?

One of the ways your body prepares is as your due date approaches, your cervix becomes thinner and softer in a process called effacement that helps the cervix open during childbirth.  This is a normal, natural process that helps the birth canal (vagina) to open during the birthing process.

Why do I have to pee so much?

As you baby grows, the pressure on your organs will increase, including your bladder.

How is my baby growing?

  • Your baby’s bones are soft but fully formed.
  • Movements and kicking increase.
  • Body fat increases
  • The eyes can open and close.
  • Organs are almost fully developed
  • Lanugo (fine hair) begins to fall off

Symptoms you may experience

  • Your belly button may protrude
  • Hemorrhoids
  • The baby “dropping,” or moving lower in your abdomen
  • Heartburn
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Contractions – which may be a sign of real or false labor
  • Softening of ligaments and joints in preparation of birth
  • Stretch marks

Tips to manage third trimester symptoms

  • Keep moving – gentle walks, a prenatal yoga class
  • Massage- most mums find massage extremely helpful for general aches and pains during pregnancy
  • Acupuncture for labor preparation and cervical ripening
  • Plan ahead for postpartum care. I invite all my patients to pre book their post party visit prior to labour. This ensures if there are any post part symptoms to address, they won’t be put on the back burner. Postpartum doulas are extremely helpful, to help with cooking, holding baby while you shower, offering advice about recovery, breastfeeding etc.



Stefanie Miska is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist with a practice focus on reproductive care. Call 1 778 400 6360 to schedule a consult.


c-section scar recovery

Acupuncture for C-section Scar Recovery

Acupuncture for C-section scar recovery

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine play an important role in c-section recovery.

The number one reason for surgery in Canada is a Cesarean section delivery, according to the the latest data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

Like many other prosperous countries, Canada’s c-section rate is rising: 28.2% of births in Canadian hospitals were performed via c-section in 2016-2017.

While there are many potential reasons for why a c-section delivery may be needed (breech, previous cesarean delivery etc), the topic today is how Traditional Chinese Medicine can help with its recovery.

Using a blend of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and moxa therapy, we are able to shorten the healing process, reduce inflammation and swelling.

How does acupuncture help scar healing?

Common symptoms of cesarean scars include swelling, local numbness, tingling and adhesions.

By administering treatment closely around the scar, the acupuncture needles cause what we call ‘micro trauma’. This creates a response in the body that sends increased blood flow, and white blood cells to the area which promotes tissue healing.

Another important piece of these treatments is the use of mugwort, or what we call moxibustion. This topical herbal application is extremely effective at reducing inflammation and swelling, and increasing blood flow.  Post cesarean birth it is used to promote healing and bring warmth back into the lower abdomen. A moxa pole looks like a giant incense stick and it made out of an herb called mugwort.

By using moxibustion, we can help to improve healthy blood circulation and speed up recovery time for both internal and external surgical sites.

When should I start postpartum c-section therapy?

As soon as possible is preferred. While it is never too late to come in for scar therapy, the longer you wait, the required number of treatments may increase.

While every treatment plan is personalized, an example may be once a week starting at 2 weeks postpartum for 6 treatments.

For questions or to book a c-section scar therapy treatment, call 1 778 400 6360.

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c-section scar recovery

postpartum acupuncture

Acupuncture for Postpartum

Why get acupuncture after birth?

Pregnancy and birth are powerful, life changing experiences. Postpartum acupuncture offers physical and emotional support during this beautiful and important transition

In China, the first few weeks after childbirth are called Chan Ru (childbirth mattress) or Zao Yue Zi (sitting the month).

The concept of adequate rest to ensure women are completely recovered from childbirth is an important part of Asian societies.

Also termed the “Golden Month” or “Sitting Moon” this was a time of rest and eating specific foods to assist in recovery for 28 days.

This is not a time for absolute bed rest but rather a time where physical rest is taken at every opportunity, exercise is appropriate (not an exhausting attempt to get back into shape), and a diet that focuses on building blood and energy.

Since this isn’t necessarily possible for many women in this day and age, using other recovery tools (like acupuncture) can help recoup after pregnancy and labor.

Postpartum acupuncture works to support optimal health for mum and babe.

What does acupuncture do ?

Depending on which body points are targeted and where the needles are inserted, acupuncture can,

  •   cause the nervous system to produce painkilling chemicals, or neurotransmitters
  •    jump-start the body’s natural ability to heal itself by resetting the nervous system from its fight or flight activation to rest and digest setting
  •   stimulate the part of the brain that releases feel-good hormones and controls emotions, including depression and anxiety

Is it safe?


(really, with acupuncture there are no/minimal side effects or post treatment down time)

Postpartum acupuncture can help:

  • Issues with lactation
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Postpartum depression or “baby blues”
  • Night sweats
  • Decreased energy
  • Mastitis
  • Persistent bleeding
  • Recovery from C-section or traumatic birth

When to start postpartum acupuncture?

Best case scenario is to begin treatments as soon after delivery as possible. For most of my patients, getting out of the house and to a treatment for the first few weeks can be challenging. For this reason, we always pre book a postpartum visit at 4-6 weeks.

It is never too late to begin treatments postpartum, even 1-2 years after delivery. If you are still suffering from symptoms like fatigue, mood disturbances, anxiety, irregular bleeding etc, acupuncture can help!


To ask questions or book an appointment, call 1 778 400 6360

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postpartum acupuncture

Chinese Medicine for Postpartum Care

Chinese Medicine for Postpartum care

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which includes acupuncture and herbal medicine, has been successfully helping women and their reproductive health for many years. Now more than ever, for postpartum care.

Acupuncture truly excels in supporting healthy pregnancies and can help you feel great postpartum. 

Taking care of yourself postpartum

Pregnancy and birth are powerful life changing experiences. Acupuncture can support women through this important and beautiful transition by offering physical and emotional support. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine works to support optimal health for the mother and every mother should consider acupuncture after having a baby for these balancing and healing benefits!

Postpartum is a special and intense period of our lives. During this time we experience more physical and emotional demands than ever before.

Having a supporting community, including care providers, can be an integral part of this new phase and transitional time.

Postpartum symptoms can acupuncture help with

  • Encourage healthy milk supply
  • Hormonal balancing
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Stress management
  • Prolonged bleeding
  • C-section scar recovery
  • Reduce aches and pains

Why postpartum support is so important

In many other cultures, the fourth trimester, is honoured as a time of rest, recuperation and family bonding. In some countries it is customary for the new mother to spend 30-40 days at home resting while being cared for by her family and community.

Termed the ‘Golden month’ this was a time of resting and consuming specific foods to aid recovery. While 30 days of recovery time may initially sound a little excessive, it was considered essential to compensate for not only the birth but also the total experience of being pregnant for nine months. 

While this isn’t always available to those of us living in the western world, utilizing some aspect of this ancient medicine can be exceptionally helpful navigating this new territory.

Time and time again in my clinical practice, I see the attention and care for the new baby overshadow the need for support for the new mother. In Chinese medicine, there is a saying “to heal the child, treat the mother”. This is an example of the importance of caring for mother, for her health and for baby’s health.

When should I start receiving postpartum treatments?

Leading up to labor, I have all my patients pre book a post party visit for 4-6 weeks after delivery.

At this treatment, we address any of the above mentioned symptoms, or anything else that may be showing up for them. Often, this is the first time mum may have left the house alone, and typically the quiet alone time is enjoyed and welcomed.

If symptoms present themselves prior to that time, treatment will begin at an earlier date.

It is not uncommon to have health issues related to postpartum develop one or two years following your birth. Seeing your practitioner shortly after your birth can help prevent these things from happening. However, if you find yourself six months or a year postpartum and not feeling your best, we would love to help. It is never too late to start seeing an acupuncturist!


If you are interested in learning more, give us a call at 1 778 400 6360.


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