The Yellow Emperor (1963) said: 'After the person's connection, the Jing is first composed. Then the Jing composes the brain and the bone marrow. The bones become the Stem, the vessels become the Ying, the muscles become firm. The flesh becomes a wall, the Jing is hard and then the hair and body grow'. The chapter on preconception discusses the importance of getting healthy, regulating periods and correcting imbalances before becoming pregnant. In my experience, a woman's physical and emotional state when she enters pregnancy will have a huge effect on the outcome of that pregnancy.
The Chinese believe that if a pregnant woman pays attention to her diet, her environment and her emotional state, then the fetus will benefit. Sadness and grief are thought to deplete the Heart and Lungs, resulting in amenorrhoea. Worry knots the Qi, fear depletes the Kidneys. Anger, frustration and resentment are often to be seen in women suffering from morning sickness and excess bile. (This is discussed at more length in Ch. 5, p. 75.)
Pregnant women should eat nourishing foods that are easily digestible. They should avoid pungent and spicy foods, and excessively cold foods (such as ice cream) that can cause Cold in the Uterus (see Ch. 3).
Especially important are any persisting conditions such as Blood deficiency, Yin deficiency, Kidney deficiency or Qi stagnation.
A woman's physiology is dominated by Blood. Western medicine sees blood simply as a collection of cells with no emotional link, although it is recognised that a woman suffering from anaemia may be tearful and low in spirits. When menstruation stops as a result of pregnancy, changes occur in the Penetrating and Directing channels. An abundance of Yin Blood in the Chong and Ren channels nourishes the fetus. But the Blood in the body as a whole is Deficient and Qi is in Excess. This is the reason why many pregnant women feel warmer.
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