How can I personalize my confinement herbs for postpartum recovery?

Personalizing confinement herbs for postpartum recovery can be a beneficial way to support the body’s healing process after childbirth. Here are some general guidelines on how to personalize confinement herbs for postpartum recovery:

Understanding Confinement Herbs

Confinement herbs are commonly used in traditional postpartum practices to do the following:

promote healing.

restore vitality.

support lactation.

In the Chinese tradition, confinement herbs are prepared in the following forms:

It appears as part of your food.

It is made into a soup or herbal decoction which you drink down for medicinal effect.

Personalizing the Herb Selection

When personalizing confinement herbs, the practitioner needs to consider factors such as:

1.the individual’s constitution

2.specific postpartum needs

3.pre-existing health conditions.

Some commonly used herbs for postpartum recovery include ginger, turmeric, red dates, dang gui, and goji berries.

First Do No Harm

The focus on most confinement practices is to warm the body up, which promotes circulation and healing. However, a very common issue is the overuse of warming herbs, to the point a woman begins to feel the following:

1.Too hot in the body

2.Dry throat, sore throat

3.Dry cough



The job of the practitioner is to warm up the body but only to the extent it does not result in the above side effects. In additions to enhancing circulation and healing, the herbal formulation can be tailored to address specific needs.

Addressing Specific Needs

Some of the specific needs include:

1.Extending the duration of use of herbs that promote lochia clearance. Many times, the postpartum woman may continue to bleed for up to 3 weeks and beyond a month! This is not optimal, and the bleeding time should be limited to 10 days and maxed at 14 days. Herbs to clear out lochia and bleeding should be used well beyond the 3 days if a woman needs it.

2More adaptogenic herbs like Astragalus and Codonopsis can be added to increase energy and reduce fatigue in an already exhausted new mother.

3.If there is insufficient breast milk, the formula can be tweaked to facilitate milk flow.

4There are also herbs that are added in to aid mood, reduce irritability and promote calm.

Preparation Methods

The herbs can be prepared as a tea, but also be cooked enough to create a decoction. In Chinese confinement, the usual preparation methods include:

As an infusion, where you steep the tea in. Red date tea can be thought of as an infusion.

As a decoction, which involves cooking the herbs in water for some time. This is a better method of extraction and results in high yield of active ingredients.

Safety and Quality

Ensure that the herbs are sourced from reputable suppliers to guarantee their quality and safety. 

Monitoring Effects

Because every mother’s postpartum is different, it is crucial to observe the effects of the herbs on the body and make adjustments as necessary.

Balancing with Nutritious Diet

Incorporate a well-balanced and nutritious diet alongside the use of confinement herbs to support overall postpartum recovery. This usually includes the usage of sesame oil in the meal with a lot of good quality protein. In the Chinese tradition, the herbs are usually cooked for a longer time. This way, the new mother does not need to expend energy digesting and just needs to absorb and use all the nutrition she consumes! 


Personalizing confinement herbs for postpartum recovery involves careful consideration of individual needs, consultation with a healthcare professional or herbalist, and mindful selection and preparation of herbs to support the body’s healing process after childbirth.

Atif khan

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