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Many readers have asked and suggested we extend our Soups for Children and Confinement Soups section to include a unique (but temporary) group of individuals – the expectant mother.

In Chinese traditions, it is commonly known that the first three months of pregnancy are the most critical.  I think western medicine will echo this too because the baby is just beginning to develop most of the critical pieces and there can be lots of instability.  You will too often hear people announce their pregnancy after the 3 month incubation period is over and be cautious of what they eat.

Here is a straight forward guide and list of soups safe to consume during pregnancy.  The basic concept of the Chinese soups is that none of them are extremely cooling, healing or potent in herbal additives.  Enjoy!

Black Silkie Chicken with Vegetables and Chestnuts
Chicken Herbal Soup
Fish Maw with Seabed Coconut and Pork Bones
Fish Tail Soup with Lily Bulb and Carrots
Ham Bone Sour Vegetable Soup (The sour soup will probably really hit the spot in your early months)
Orange Vegetable Fish Soup
Papaya Fish Soup
Pork Bones and Arrowroot Soup
Pork Bones with Lotus Root Soup
Red Dates and Young Coconut with Fish Tail Soup
Seabed Coconut, Carrot and Corn Soup
Tomato Fish Soup
Tri-Coloured Pepper Vegetarian Soup
Turkey Bone Sour Vegetable Soup

In general, I would recommend fish soups.  Although be careful of not using fish that are too large (due to the increased level of mercury in larger fish compared to smaller fish).


  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Michele, should be OK to drink snakehead fish soup at any time of your pregnancy (depends also on the ingredients used inside). It’s better in general to have heaty foods vs cooling foods and the fish is neither. Hope this helps and g’luck! Lisa

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Eve,
    All the soups you mentioned are perfectly safe for you to drink during your pregnancy (first trimester). You can consider these two soups (that contain salted mustard greens – which help bring back some appetite and allow you to eat better or more after the vomiting).



    But going into your 2nd trimester, most things are safe for consumption (vs the 1st trimester). Hope this helps and all the best!

  • Yu516 says:

    Hi! I was just wondering are blue date water safe during the first and second trimesters?

  • wei says:

    In my first pregnancy I had some dong kwai with chicken.I had cramp for a few days and so severe that I ended up at a and e.Found out every time I have it it promotes contraction especially I have fibroids which make it worse.Another is tofu.Soy mimic hormones.Everytime I had it I will have cramp.So I m avoiding all these two items.

  • richrach says:

    Dear Lady Tong,

    I’m 22 weeks pregnant with my 2nd baby. I have had bad experiences with bleeding almost on a weekly basis since week 16.

    Is there any recommendations on nutritious soup to strengthen my ppregnancy?

    Thank you.

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