My own experience of childbirth—first by cesarean and second naturally—was a priceless experience of personal growth, where I understood the pain process in a new empowering way, radically different from the usual.
My first birth by cesarean which was unnecessary was my initiation to have the mission to devote a large percentage of my practice to pregnant women seeking help with a variety of health concerns.
I have now a much deeper understanding of the intricacies of the birth process, value a woman's ability to nurture her pregnancy and birth her baby; I regard pregnancy and birth as a rite of passage integral to a woman's evolution into mothering and believe that healthy pregnancy and natural birth are processes which have lifelong impact on a woman's self esteem, her health, her ability to nurture, and her personal growth.
treatments during pregnancy, birth, postpartum
Oriental medicine is ideal for use during pregnancy and child-birth as it offers a safe, easy to administer, inexpensive treatment for women. Because of the high potential for side effects from modern Western pharmaceuticals, many expectant mothers find it to be an effective alternative. With the avoidance of certain points, we can treat a woman during pregnancy without causing harm to the mother or baby. Because acupuncture can be deeply relaxing, the pregnant woman often falls in to a yogic sleep during a treatment and enjoys a much-needed rest.
Acupuncture can be applied in early and late stages of pregnancy as well as during labor for pain relief. In the late stages of pregnancy acupuncture can promote the maturity of the cervix and birth channel therefore reducing the duration of labor significantly.
Stagnation of a woman’s Qi and blood typically slows the process of labor and can make it more painful. Acupuncture acts to create and move more Qi and blood through the body, thereby clearing stagnation and allowing for an easier and shorter labor.
Other conditions that acupuncture may help during pregnancy include nausea, heartburn, headaches, constipation, hemorrhoids, and backache.
Acupuncture is also effective for turning breech presentations, inducing labor, reducing the discomfort of contractions, and helping to expel the placenta.
· Herbal Medicine
· Birth Doula Services
· Placenta Preparation
· Childbirth Preparation Classes
· Birth Trauma Healing Treatments
· Relaxation Techniques Practices
· Pregnancy/PostPartum Tui Na Massage
· Postpartum Holistic Weight Loss Program
SOME OF THE CONDITIONS TREATED:
· Breached Position
· Induce Labor
· Childbirth Facilitation
· Insufficient Lactation
· Chloasma (facial skin discoloration during pregnancy)
· Morning sickness, Nausea, Vomiting, Stomachache
· Diarrhea, Constipation, Hemorrhoids
· Indigestion, Gastric Reflux
· Muscle, tendon, and ligament pain and discomfort, pelvic pain, groin spasms, leg cramps, Sciatica.
IMMUNE SYSTEM and OTHER:
· Fatigue, Gestational Diabetes,Side Effects of Western Medications
· Colds and Flus, Sore Throat, Bronchitis, Asthma, Smoking.
· Menstrual Pain, Hot Flashes, Infertility, Endometriosis, Mastitis, Vaginal and UTI, Difficult Urination, Incontinence, Sexual Dysfunction, Prevention of Miscarriage, Uterine Hemorrhaging.
· High Blood Pressure, Palpitations, Varicose Vein, Eclampsia and Pre-Eclampsia, Nose Bleeds.
EMOTIONAL and STRESS RELATED:
· Depression, adjustment to parenthood, confusing emotions, Fatigue, Insomnia, Anxiety, Irritability, Stress.
Pain medication and epidurals often make a woman drowsy, limit her mobility, slow down labor, lower blood pressure, and depress normal fetal respiration. Acupuncture can be an effective alternative for relieving pain during labor without these side effects. Ear acupuncture, (also known as auricular therapy)is often used, since ear points allows the woman more mobility.
As the woman becomes more calm and relaxed, she is better able to cope with contractions, though she can still feel them.
Some of the most common postpartum difficulties treatable by Chinese medicine include insomnia, fainting or dizziness, abdominal pain, depression, fatigue, constipation, incontinence, or insufficient lactation.
While acupuncture can only manipulate Qi that is already available in the body, moxibustion, the burning of the dried herb mugwort on or over various acupuncture points of the body adds Qi to the body. This makes the treatment of choice for breech presentation when used during the final month of pregnancy. Since moxibustion does not require needles, We will train midwives, doulas and pregnant women in its application. Benefits of moxibustion include a decrease in the number of breech births and their complications, as well as potential reductions in the cesarean section rate.
Moxabustion for Breech Presentation
The turning of breech babies has long been well known to respond to a treatment called moxibustion. By burning a fragrant herb over one of the acupuncture points, it can relax the muscles in the uterus allowing the baby to turn.
The moxibustion is done by taking a moxa stick (a stick of compressed herbs the size of a candle) and lighting the end. This herb then smoulders and the heat radiates into the point. This is done over the point on each side for fifteen minutes each day for 1 week.Take a two-day break. If the baby has not turned yet, continue with the moxa for another seven days. It is even more effective if the patient does the “knee to chest” position in conjunction with acupuncture/moxa treatment.
To do the “knee to chest” position. with head down on the floor. Maintain this position for 15 minutes, twice a day. By positioning the body so that the head is lower, gravity encourages the baby’s head to “float” toward the fundus of the uterus, flex her chin onto her chest and start to turn under. Acupuncture treatments should be performed every other day for up to 2 weeks to assist with the process of turning the baby to the right position.
Moxibustion is a completely safe and very gentle way of attempting to turn babies. The best results are often gained before week 35 as after this stage there is so little room for the baby to move. I have however had babies that have turned at week 38/39.
Usually only one treatment is required, where the acupuncturist will do the moxibustion, teach where the points are, and then give a moxa stick to the patient to continue the process at home.
Massage during pregnancy, birth, postpartum
Regular massage promotes stress relief, relaxation and maintenance of optimum health. (Midwives should avoid administering abdominal and sacral massage during the first trimester as they could risk stimulating specific acupuncture points contraindicated in pregnancy).
Hormonal changes contribute to making pregnancy a very emotional time for women. The physical touch of massage can be reassuring and calming, giving a pregnant woman the chance to relax and be nurtured. Massage is particularly effective in the final trimester, especially for the hypertensive woman or one suffering from insomnia.
A number of types of massage are encompassed within Chinese medicine including Tui Na, Shiatsu, Thai, and Jin Shin. Chinese massage can influence the entire body, providing mild stimulation to the skin, organs and tissues. Conditions during pregnancy for which massage may be helpful include nausea, vomiting, hemorrhoids, backache, edema, heartburn, anxiety, insomnia, headaches and tiredness.
Massage aids circulation, excretion and digestion, and reduces pain perception. Massage increases the flow of blood and Qi to the limbs, which is helpful as the fetus grows larger making proper flow more difficult. It also helps to circulate body fluids in the skin, which can help women experiencing edema. Since massage moves the Qi and blood, it keeps the woman’s skin supple and moist allowing it to stretch more easily. Therefore, massaging the perineum from 37 weeks of pregnancy onwards can help avoid the need for an episiotomy.
During labor massage can reduce the discomfort of contractions and backache. A gentle massage over the sacral area can be performed by the midwife or the doula and carried out in between contractions to minimize pain. Massage may also be used to induce prolonged pregnancies, as well as help with the expulsion of the placenta. Postpartum, massage can encourage lactation, relieve engorged breasts and constipation, alleviate depression, and promote general relaxation.