Convulsions after Childbirth


Convulsions after Childbirth can be caused by:

  • Severe loss of blood during childbirth
  • Invasion of external Toxin during or after childbirth


There are two main conditions causing convulsions after childbirth, one caused by deficiency, the other by excess:

  • Deficiency of Liver-Blood and Liver-Yin may lead to the development of internal Wind
  • Invasion of external Toxin during or after childbirth causes the development of Toxic-Heat and internal Wind

Differential diagnosis

Convulsions after Childbirth should be differentiated from the following conditions:

  • Wind-stroke
  • Convulsions in Pregnancy
  • Epilepsy
  • Breakdown Syndrome (Jue Zheng)

Identification of patterns and treatment

Blood and Yin deficiency with Empty-Wind

Clinical manifestations:

  • Profuse loss of blood during childbirth
  • Tremor of limbs
  • Rigidity of spine
  • Pale complexion or malar flush

Tongue: without coating

Pulse: Choppy or Floating-Empty and slightly Wiry on the left

Treatment principle: Nourish Blood and Yin, strengthen the Liver, extinguish Wind

Exterior invasion of Toxin

Clinical manifestations:

  • Shivering and fever soon after childbirth
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Rigidity of spine
  • Lockjaw
  • Convulsions
  • Opisthotonos in severe cases

Tongue: Red with thick, yellow coating and Red points

Pulse: Wiry and Full

Treatment principle: Disperse Wind-Heat, eliminate Toxin, nourish Yin

Prognosis and prevention

The prognosis for convulsions after childbirth is generally good if treated promptly. To prevent convulsions after childbirth, the following measures can be taken:

  • Maintain good sanitary conditions during and after childbirth
  • Prevent excessive loss of blood during childbirth
  • Treat Blood and Yin deficiency and Wind-Heat invasion promptly to prevent convulsions

Western viewpoint

In Western medicine, convulsions after childbirth may be referred to as postpartum eclampsia or postpartum seizures. The cause of postpartum eclampsia is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to high blood pressure during pregnancy and changes in the blood vessels after delivery. Treatment typically involves medications to control blood pressure and prevent further seizures, as well as close monitoring of the mother and baby.