Herbal Soups For Confinement: What You Need To Know

Childbirth is extremely tough on women. The toil of a 9-month pregnancy, labor and delivery test your body’s constitution to its limit. It is this time where a woman’s body is at her weakest and most susceptible to colds, chills or illnesses. A proper recovery plan for the confinement period after giving birth is crucial for getting mothers back to their pre-pregnancy state.

Confinement periods are typically around four to six weeks long. During this period mothers rest and nourish their bodies to aid their physical recovery while getting used to having a baby in the house.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbs are a popular choice to supplement recovery during confinement. But with so many options available, which herbs should new mothers focus on to get back into pre-pregnancy shape as quickly as possible?


Edward Ho Sze Leung, a Singapore Ministry Of Health (MOH) registered TCM practitioner shares his professional advice with us. Since 2014, he has been volunteering at Chung Hwa Medical Institution and nominated exceptional physician 2019.


Herbal care for the confinement period is typically focused on uterus recovery, strengthening your digestive system and improving vitality.

Uterus Recovery (1st Week Post-delivery)

In the first weeks after delivery, your uterus shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size and any remaining blood and tissue (known as lochia discharge) is expelled. Herbal concoctions for this period are focused on stimulating blood flow to help your uterus contract and speed up lochia discharge, which can last for about four to six weeks.

Strengthening Digestion (2nd and 3rd Week Post-delivery)

As the body starts returning to its normal state after childbirth, herbal concoctions for the second week typically focus on restoring lost qi by improving the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. Organs in your digestive system like the stomach, kidney and spleen are the main beneficiaries, and better nutrient absorption helps to improve the quality of your breast milk. At this stage, herbs are also prescribed to “warm” the body and prevent colds and chills.

Improving Vitality (4th and 5th Week Post-delivery)

Nearing the end of the confinement period, herbal concoctions focus on improving your overall wellness and sustaining good health so you have the energy to care for your baby. This ensures your body is in good shape and strengthens key support areas like your back to prepare for subsequent pregnancies.


Thinking of where to buy Chinese herbs in Singapore? Online convenience is everywhere these days, and having TCM herbs delivered to your doorstep is great for a resting mother in confinement. But before you whip out your phone and launch your favourite shopping app, we recommend buying your herbs from a reputable TCM shop, preferably one with a physical presence — so you know it is authentic and from a trusted source.


In TCM, herbs are rarely eaten on their own but as part of a formula that consists of several ingredients acting together. Typically prescribed as soups, the number of herbs and variations are endless and vary across TCM practitioners. These are some of the soups and herbal combinations you’ll find commonly recommended for mothers.

Sheng Hua Soup (生化汤)

Sheng Hua soup consists of Chuan Xiong (Lovage Root, 川芎), Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica, 当归), Pao Jiang (Fried Ginger, 炮姜), Tao Ren ( Semen Persicae, 桃仁) and Zhi Gan Cao (Roasted Licorice Root, 炙甘草). It intensifies your qi to promote blood flow, helping to replenish lost blood and clear lochia. Irregular blood flow is one of the main causes of discomfort and pains after childbirth, while lochia is the vaginal discharge of blood, mucus and tissues from the womb. Depending on whether you had a c-section or natural birth, different types of herbs will be needed.

Appetite Support Nourishing Soup (四神开胃汤)

The key goal for the confinement period is recovery — and for that, your body needs to be able to absorb nutrients from your food effectively. The appetite support soup consists of Lian Zi (Lotus Seed, 莲子), Fu Ling (Poria, 茯苓), Huai Shan (Chinese Yam, 淮山), Qian Shi (Gordon Euryale Seeds, 芡实). It strengthens your digestive system, improves nutrient absorption and appetite while also reducing stomach bloat.

Back Strengthening Tonic Soup (補腰補肾汤)

Back pain is a common complaint amongst pregnant women. Carrying a child naturally strains your lower back, and its effects can continue even after childbirth. Back strengthening tonic soup contains Du Zhong (Eucommia Bark, 杜仲), Ba Ji Tian (Morinda Officinalis Root, 巴戟天), and Gou Qi (Goji Berries, 枸杞) — these ingredients work to strengthen the bones and muscles around your waist and lower back, so they can better support you during a second pregnancy.


Rather than having to buy herbs individually and portion them to prepare the soups yourself, herbal confinement packages offer a convenient way to get TCM herbs delivered to you pre-portioned and ready-to-cook. There are many factors to consider when looking for a herbal package that is right for you.

The first is to make sure the herbs are high-quality and authentic by buying from a reputable TCM store. You’ll also want to look for an experienced herb dispenser or physician who is able to take time to understand your body needs and make adjustments accordingly. Traditional Medical Hall with its rich experience in herbs will even be able to adjust to your taste preferences. Finally, the last thing you want is the anxiety of waiting for your herbs to arrive — so look for a track record of timely package deliveries before your estimated delivery date so everything is ready for you when you’re back home.

Heng Foh Tong’s personalized complete essential postnatal package is one such package that covers all the needs outlined above. An experienced TCM dispensary that’s been in supplying herbals since 1957, the packages are meticulously measured and curated for each mummy’s specific needs. They provide advice and can personalize your package to meet specific objectives like lactation enhancement, c-section healing or slimming at no extra costs. Each order comes with an easy-to-follow cooking guide and is packed and delivered to you three days automatically before your EDD (estimated delivery date). In the event of early check in to the hospital, simply Whatsapp Heng Foh Tong at +6588095102 and they will deliver to your doorstep three days later which synchronizes with the usual discharge period.

Heng Foh Tong is founded in 1957 by Mdm Ng Sock Eng, a second generation Traditional Chinese Medicine veteran in Singapore. Today, Heng Foh Tong Medical Hall specializes in natural revitalization and healing through the dispensary of herbs and we provide one of the widest variety of TCM herbs in Singapore. Throughout the years, the heritage rich medical hall has assembled more than 200,000 herbal concoctions and their tried and tested herbal confinement decoctions have helped lighten the burdens of thousands of mummies going through the confinement periods.