SingaporeMotherhood | Pregnancy

September 2023

Praying to Zhu Sheng Niang Niang (注生娘娘) for a Baby

No, it’s not limited to the older generation — even young childless couples visit temples to pray that the deities will grant them a healthy baby. Zhu Sheng Niang Niang (注生娘娘), in particular, seems to be the bringer of hope and bundles of joy.

A fertility deity in Taoist culture, Zhu Sheng Niang Niang governs everything to do with pregnancy, delivery and birth. In Chinese, 注生娘娘 literally translates to “goddess who watches over birth”. Believed to protect both mother and child, Zhu Sheng Niang Niang is traditionally worshipped by the Southern Chinese, such as the Hokkien and Teochew clans. Even today, many childless couples turn to her in hopes that she will bestow a baby upon them.

Of course, it’s essential to seek your gynae’s advice should you have problems conceiving naturally. There may be underlying physiological conditions that need addressing, and advanced fertility treatments produce miracles every day. But there is surely no harm in praying for divine intervention either.

“While I’m a Taoist-Buddhist, I don’t really see myself as superstitious. Still, I would grab any chance just to have a healthy baby, so I kept an open mind and prayed to Zhu Sheng Niang Niang,” reveals Jo Tan, 35, who was blessed with a baby boy in 2013. She had been trying for kids for about three years prior but faced difficulties conceiving naturally. Hers is a centuries-old story that the deity still hears, even in present-day Singapore.


Prepare Offerings for Zhu Sheng Niang Niang

Offerings for Zhu Sheng Niang Niang
Offerings include Butterfly Florida Water Cologne (source) and Sam Fong Hoi Tong Powder (source)

If you hope to have a baby boy, bring an odd number of white flowers (11 stalks, for example) to offer to the goddess. This symbolises yang or masculine energy. To pray for a baby girl, prepare an even number (12 stalks) of red flowers. This represents yin or feminine energy. If you have no preference, then you can go with six of each.

Jo also suggests these ‘advanced’ offerings: “I also brought along a bottle of Butterfly brand cologne, an old-school brand of pressed face powder, and a spool of red thread to place on the altar.” (It’s optional, but you can purchase Butterfly Florida Water Cologne and Sam Fong Hoi Tong Powder at traditional Chinese medicine halls around the older neighbourhoods.)

At the temple, you can also purchase a set of basic offerings (from about $3 per set) that includes candles, joss sticks, and incense paper.


How to Pray to Zhu Sheng Niang Niang

Red eggs at the Zhu Sheng Niang Niang alter in Shuang Lin temple
Red eggs at Shuang Lin temple in Toa Payoh (source)

Then simply approach Zhu Sheng Niang Niang’s altar and tell her of your wish to be blessed with a healthy child. Tell her yours and your spouse’s names and lunar dates-of-birth, where you live, and whether you would like to have a boy or girl. Some ladies say that they sometimes pour their hearts out to Zhu Sheng Niang Niang, often sobbing out their woes as they get caught up in their emotions. This is perfectly fine — the goddess will then better know your pain, they say.


Finally, if there are any red eggs by Zhu Sheng Niang Niang’s altar, be sure to take two, one for yourself and one for your spouse. You can eat them at any time, but it is advised to take them home and eat them on your bed together. Do eat them on the same day as soon as possible, so that they are still fresh. These are extra lucky red eggs!

If you’re still unsure about what to say or do, simply ask one of the friendly temple caretakers for pointers. They are usually more than willing to guide you. At the end of the day, the most important factor is your sincerity, so don’t worry if you get it ‘wrong’ — the deities are not petty mortals after all!

Congratulations on your BFP!

Big Fat Positive pregnancy test
Image: jcomp on Freepik

When you get a Big Fat Positive pregnancy test, you may wish to return to the temple to thank Zhu Sheng Niang Niang for her help. This is also the best time to pray for a smooth pregnancy and delivery, and of course, a healthy baby.

After observing your confinement and baby is a month old, it is important to take an offering of (hard-boiled) red eggs back to the temple. The number of eggs is usually in tens; some offer 50 eggs, some 100, while others choose to ‘return’ an auspicious-sounding 88 eggs. The red eggs have a two-fold purpose. First, to thank the goddess for her blessings. But perhaps more importantly, it is to spread lucky ‘baby dust’ to others who are still praying for a baby of their own. Remember the red eggs mentioned earlier? This is where they come from!


Many mums who have been blessed by Zhu Sheng Niang Niang continue to visit her even as their children are growing up. She is said to be assisted by a team of lesser goddesses — ‘nannies’ who help to protect and care for kids until they reach 12 to 14 years old. As one mum who goes by the moniker of “milogal88” on the SingaporeMotherhood forums shares, “My twins just turned one. I still go back periodically and pray to Zhu Sheng Niang Niang for them to be safe and healthy.”

Others, like Jo, return to pray for a second or even third child. “I prayed to Zhu Sheng Niang Niang for a second child and she blessed me with another boy. We are hoping for a third kid, so we may make another visit to her very soon!”

Where to Find Zhu Sheng Niang Niang in Singapore

Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery
Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery (source)

There are several temples around Singapore where the goddess resides, including the ones listed below. One of the most popular among SingaporeMotherhood forum participants is the Shuang Lin temple in Toa Payoh. You’ll recognise Zhu Sheng Niang Niang as the lady deity who holds an open book and a calligraphy brush — these reflect the traditional Chinese practice of recording every newborn in the family lineage.

By the way, if you’re hoping to receive the lucky ‘baby dust’ when you visit Zhu Sheng Niang Niang, tune in to the latest posts on this SingaporeMotherhood forum thread. Mums returning to thank the deity with red eggs often share the wheres and whens beforehand or right after.

Ban Siew San Temple (Ban Siew San Kuan Imm Tong)

Where 2 Telok Blangah Drive
Opening hours 7.30am – 3pm
Phone 6271 2914

Giok Hong Tian Temple (Yu Huang Dian)

Where 495 Havelock Road
Opening hours 7am – 5pm
Phone 6733 5727

Goh Chor Tua Pek Kong Temple

Where 249 Balestier Road
Opening hours 8am – 4pm
Phone 6256 7908

Kampong Tengah Thian Hou Keng (Ban Gang Tian Hou Gong, part of Sengkang Joint Temple)

Where 80 Rivervale Crescent
Opening hours 8am – 5pm
Phone 6386 5680

Kong Hock Keng Temple

Where 101 Telok Blangah Street 31
Opening hours 7.30am – 7pm
Phone 6276 3440

Kuan Im Tng Temple (Joo Chiat)

Where 62 Tembeling Road
Opening hours 9am – 4pm
Phone 6348 0967

Leong San See Temple

Where 371 Race Course Road
Opening hours 8am – 4pm
Phone 6298 9371

Zhu Sheng Niang Niang and other deities at Sheng Hong Temple
Selection of deities (Zhu Sheng Niang Niang: top left) at Lorong Koo Chye Sheng Hong Temple (source)

Lorong Koo Chye Sheng Hong Temple (Jiu Cai Ba Cheng Huang Miao)

Where 15 Arumugam Road
Opening hours 6am – 8.30pm
Phone 6744 3187

Sar Kong Mun San Fook Tuck Chee

Where 124 Sims Drive
Opening hours 7am – 6pm
Phone 6747 4957

Seng Wong Gong Temple (Seng Wong Beo)

Where 113 Peck Seah Street
Opening hours 8am – 5pm
Phone 6221 9930

Shuang Lin Cheng Huang Miao (Siong Lim Temple, part of Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery)

Where 184 Jalan Toa Payoh
Opening hours 8am – 5pm
Phone 6259 6924

Soon Thian Keing (Tua Konsi)

Where 19 Lorong 29 Geylang
Opening hours 7am – 5.30pm
Phone 6742 8566

Tang Gah Beo (Dong Yue Miao)

Where 6 Bukit Purmei
Opening hours 7am – 4.30pm
Phone 6221 3872

Ting Kong Temple (Telok Blangah Ting Kong Beo)

Where 578 Telok Blangah Road
Opening hours 8am – 5pm
Phone 6272 3144

Tong Tien Kung Temple

Where 8 Bukit Batok Street 21
Opening hours 8am – 5.45pm
Phone 6562 3532

Yang Tao Yuan Sheng Hong Temple (Yang Tao Yuan Cheng Huang Miao)

Where 300 Pandan Gardens
Opening hours 8am – 6pm
Phone 6560 4760

Yueh Hai Ching Temple (Wak Hai Cheng Bio)

Where 30B Phillip Street
Opening hours 8am – 5pm
Phone 6536 6851

Featured image: 桃園天惠堂

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Praying to Zhu Sheng Niang Niang (注生娘娘) for a Baby