Pregnancy, Labour & Post-Partum Care
Acupuncture supports a health pregnancy
In the 6th Century, a famous Chinese medicine doctor named Sun si-miao wrote a treatise on women’s health and the treatment of women’s health disorders. Since then, Chinese medicine has seen women’s health as a specialization beyond the scope of general medicine.
Acupuncture offers its unique ability to help women during pregnancy when less intervention is generally worth more. Acupuncture has centuries of evidence of its safety and effectiveness. Some of the common ways wae can help are listed below, but feel free to get in touch with us if you have a specific question we haven’t covered here.
In addition to treating imbalances, acupuncture can also provide tips for healthy eating and living during pregnancy. Acupuncture theory uses food as medicine, so you can learn to “treat” yourself at home, too.
What does Chinese Medicine treat during pregnancy?
Morning sickness is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, when the hormonal changes in the body send up a signal flag to show that things are changing. Acupuncture can help settle nausea and restore appetite. Morning sickness doesn’t always happen in the morning and severity may vary. Sometimes morning sickness can last the entire pregnancy. The nausea of morning sickness is directly related to three acupuncture channels, so re-balancing these channels can resolve the nausea. Herbal medicine can be used as well.
Threatened Abortion and Restless Fetus
Also known as premature contractions. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can calm early contractions, stop cramping and or bleeding, and strengthen the uterus’ ability to support pregnancy.
Backache during pregnancy
Acupuncture is well known for treating pain, especially back pain. Acupuncture can help stop back pain during pregnancy without the use of pain killers. Acupuncture regulates the body’s energy and blood flow to stop pain safely and without side effects of pain medication. I’ll also apply pregnancy massage to assist pain relief.
Swollen ankles during pregnancy
Pregnant women commonly retain water (fluids), which tend to settle down into the lower body. This is the cause of swollen ankles during pregnancy. Swollen ankles may make walking uncomfortable and even laying down uncomfortable. Acupuncture treats swollen ankles by moving the stuck fluids and regulating the flow of energy and blood in the acupuncture meridians of the ankles.
Pregnancy Induced Hypertension
Acupuncture treatments can help keep your blood pressure down and decrease the chance of further complications.
Breech & Posterior Presentation:
Between 34-37 weeks, research has shown acupuncture is very effective in turning a breech or posterior baby. Treatments are recommended beginning week 34.
Anxiety during pregnancy
Anxiety is common in pregnant women. Some who have had anxiety prior to pregnancy may experience a worsening. Others may experience anxiety for the first time when contemplating the growth of a family. Regardless of the cause, acupuncture can treat anxiety by calming the mind and allowing feelings to pass through instead of getting stuck inside us.
Headaches during pregnancy
Acupuncture is a safer intervention than pain medications to treat headache during pregnancy. There is little risk associated with acupuncture, making it a better choice for treating headache in pregnant women.
Safe during Pregnancy:
For women who want to avoid taking pharmaceutical drugs, acupuncture and herbal medicine have a safe, effective way to treat common ailments such as colds, flu, tendonitis, allergies, fatigue, migraines during pregnancy.
Recent studies in Europe conclude that acupuncture can significantly reduce the duration of first stage labour. In an Austrian study, the average first stage labour was 196 minutes for women receiving acupuncture compared with 321numutes for those who did not. Acupuncture is also effective for regulating and strengthening contractions in stalled labours, in instances of prolonged ruptured membranes and for reducing stress hormones known to inhibit labour progression. It is recommended that pregnant women receive weekly Acupuncture treatments beginning no later than week 36 to help shorten labour, increase relaxation and facilitate a smoother birth.
In cases where you are overdue, Acupuncture can be highly effective at getting your labour started.
Sometimes labour can slow down or stop. Other times your “water” may break and contractions still do not start. Acupuncture can help get labour going again, regulating and strengthening contractions.
Studies have found that those receiving acupuncture had significantly less need for synthetic oxytocin during first stage labour (15%) compared to 85% for those not receiving acupuncture.
Should this condition occur, please call me for a treatment at your place.
Anxiety & Stress:
Stress hormones are known to slow the progression of labour. Acupuncture is a wonderful way to relieve stress and anxiety before and during birth raising your body’s own oxytocin levels and lowering adrenaline.
According to Chinese medicine, low or no milk flow can occur because of a blockage of energy or because of exhaustion and blood loss. Research in China has shown acupuncture to have a 90% success rate in increasing milk supply. Acupuncture can also help in cases if clogged ducts and mastitis. I may also use herbs, massage and diet instruction.
Lack of sleep, exhaustion and the responsibility of a newborn may all contribute to feelings that range from “the blues” to more profound depression. Acupuncture and herbs can elevate mood, make you calmer and more relaxed, and help keep you emotionally balanced.
Other post-natal discomforts: Postpartum Lochiorrhea, Insomnia, Body Pain, constipation, frequency of urination.
For some reason, if a new mum is not able to feed, or it’s time for a delactation, Please don’t hesitate to call me and Chinese medicine can be a great help.