For over 3,000 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine has focused on women’s health and the treatment of women in pregnancy and postpartum recovery. Pregnancy is a miraculous time of great physical and hormonal changes, and for some women these transitions are relatively easy, while for others it may be a time of great discomfort. Many pregnant women suffer from nausea, fatigue, anxiety, body aches and other conditions that are considered a “normal” part of pregnancy. When performed by a licensed and experienced practitioner, acupuncture is a safe, effective, and widely accepted form of treatment during pregnancy. Renée K Barsa, L.Ac. of WellPath Acupuncture & Healing Arts feels honored to assist women during this special journey towards parenthood.
Acupuncture can provide relief when other treatment options are not available. Emphasis is placed on preventive care to strengthen mother and baby, promote fetal and maternal health, as well as address any challenges as they occur. During pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period, acupuncture can greatly enhance a woman’s overall well-being as well as treat specific concerns.
COMMON PREGNANCY CONDITIONS THAT MAY BE IMPROVED WITH ACUPUNCTURE INCLUDE:
• Nausea and vomiting
• Musculoskeletal pain
• Breech and posterior position
• Gestational hypertension
• Labor preparation
• Labor induction
OTHER PREGNANCY CHALLENGES THAT MAY BE RELIEVED WITH ACUPUNCTURE:
• Sinus problems
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a wonderful treatment option for breech presentation using moxibustion (heating acupoints with the herb mugwort). Research studies have found that the optimal time for moxa to assist in turning a breech baby is at week 34, or as close to it as possible, before the baby has grown too large. I also teach my patients how to continue the use moxa in the comfort of their own home for a prescribed number of days.
Labor preparation acupuncture treatments can help shorten labor time, reduce labor complications and pain, prepare the body for labor, lower caesarean risk, and lessen the need for the use of oxytocin, pain medications and epidurals. I highly recommend beginning this once weekly series of treatments at week 37 and continuing until labor begins, for all soon-to-be moms.
After childbirth, a woman’s condition is very vulnerable and care should be taken to eat nourishing foods and rest as much as possible. Unfortunately, the trend in our society is for women to resume household responsibilities and vigorous activities shortly after childbirth, and even go back to work only days after exhausting labor. In many cases when delivery is prolonged or a larger quantity of blood is lost, it is even more important to continue postpartum care. A mother needs to be healthy and nurtured in order to look after her new addition to the family!
There are great benefits to utilizing Traditional Chinese Medicine during the postnatal period to prevent any disharmonies from developing. It is very common to see women presenting with qi and blood deficiency following the birth of a child. Nutrition and diet advice, along with blood-building herbs and acupuncture, can help strengthen qi and blood and promote healing. Additionally, “Mother Warming” is a moxibustion treatment I often prescribe for around day four or five post-birth to help nourish new mothers.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine for postnatal care can help:
• shrink the uterus
• promote healing
• stop bleeding
• alleviate backaches and pain
• encourage lactation
• alleviate migraines
• reduce fatigue
• alleviate postpartum depression
• alleviate fatigue and exhaustion
We look forward to working with you on the path to healthy pregnancy!