The Chinese Tradition of Postpartum Mother Warming

Mother warming is a healing treatment given to women in their postpartum time to support recovery from birth. It can also be helpful to increase energy, and support healthy milk supply.

Mother warming is usually done as part of “Sitting the Month,” which is the Chinese tradition of postpartum recovery involving a full month of staying in bed, among other things. While that does sound a bit strict, or maybe even archaic, postpartum recovery is often completely overlooked and women are praised for “bouncing back,” so, I think, there is something to be gleaned from revisiting this tradition.


The process of mother warming is very simple: Moxa, dried mugwort, is burned near the skin to warm certain acupuncture points. The warmth of the herbs is very tonifying and feels absolutely wonderful to the mother receiving it. This is typically done at least once in the days and weeks after birth.

A moxa stick, pictured above is used for mother warming.


When To Do Mother Warming

Vaginal Birth: For a vaginal birth, you can do your first mother warming treatment 3-4 days after birth.

Cesarean Birth: If you gave birth via Cesarean, you can begin your mother warming about 2 weeks after birth.

Mother warming, after the initial treatment,  is typically done as needed during the first 3-4 weeks postpartum.


Contraindications to Mother Warming

Mother warming can be done safely for most women. However, avoid mother warming if you have an infection of any kind (incision, uterine, or even a cold/flu). Consult your acupuncturist for advice on when to begin or if you have any questions.  


Your acupuncturist will give you detailed instructions along with a moxa stick to use for mother warming. Mother warming kits also come as part of our postpartum recovery basket.

If you have any questions, please contact us and we’d be happy to help!


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