Article Re-published with permission:
AcuBalance Wellness Centre Ltd, Vancouver, BC

Eastern thinking has always maintained that a woman should take special care of herself during pregnancy, labor and after childbirth. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine provide a safe and natural form of health care for a woman on her journey into motherhood.

During Pregnancy

There are many changes physically and emotionally throughout a pregnancy, and there are a number of health concerns which are especially associated with pregnancy. The majority of these aliments are generally considered ‘par for the course’ because they are not easily alleviated with western medicine. As many conventional pharmaceuticals cannot be used during pregnancy, this is a time when complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, are especially helpful. Because it does not introduce any substance into the body, acupuncture is ideally suited to treat the following conditions:

  • Threatened miscarriage
  • Morning sickness
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Back ache/sciatica
  • Premature labour
  • Breech presentation
  • Labor induction
  • Pregnancy hypertension
  • Edema
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carlsson C, et al. Manual acupuncture reduces hyperemesis gravidarum: a placebo-controlled, randomized, single-blind, crossover study. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management October 2000;20(4):273-279. Acupuncture conversion of fetal breech presentation. Fetal Diagn Ther. 2003 Nov-Dec;18(6):418-21

As with all complementary therapies in pregnancy, ensure that the therapist you consult is fully qualified. As no substance is ingested into the body, acupuncture is safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. In order to prevent any risk of infection, only sterile, single-use disposable needles are used during acupuncture treatments.

Weeks 36 to 40 – Preparing for Labour

Acupuncture and TCM can provide physical and emotional support to a woman during labour, birth and the immediate postpartum period. The effects of support are: labours are shorter, there are fewer complications, caesarean rates are reduced, there is less need for oxytocin to speed up labour, and women request fewer pain medications and epidurals. As a result there is greater satisfaction with the mother’s birth experience. Acupuncture specifically benefits the following conditions:

  • Cervical ripening
  • Inducing labour if >40 weeks
  • Increase in contraction strength and frequency
  • Back pain
  • Anxiety and fear

Acupuncture for Cervical Maturation by Tremeau ML; Fontanie-Ravier P; Teurnier F; Demouzon J. Journal de Gynecologie, Obstetrique et Biologie de la Reproduction, 1992, 21(4):375-80.
Allais, G., et al. Acupuncture in labor management. Minerva ginecologica 55(6): 503-10. Eappen S, Robbins D., Nonpharmacological means of pain relief for labor and delivery, Int Anesthesiol Clini. 2002 Fall; 40(4): 103-14, Review

After Childbirth

There are many demands placed on the mother throughout labour, and a woman’s body generally recovers in the 6 weeks after the birth of the baby. This is a special time for parents as they develop close, lifelong bonds with their child. Nevertheless, giving birth can be a real shock to the new mother’s system, and there may be symptoms that persist or develop after the initial recovery period. Acupuncture can help replenish and restore the balance in a woman’s body and is effective in treating the following postpartum conditions:

  • Postpartum depression
  • Blocked ducts/mastitis
  • Breast milk not flowing/insufficient supply
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Incontinence

Mother Roasting

Mother Roasting is the practice of warming the new mother to aid in recovery from childbirth and restore energy. This takes different forms in various cultures. In Malaysia, a massage with a special stone that is heated on the fire, wrapped in a cloth and placed on the abdomen. In Thailand, the fire was at the mother’s bedside, where she would lie day and night rotating her body every half an hour. In the Hopi Indian culture in Arizona, the mother was rested on top of a heated bed of sand and a sheepskin, and then covered well.

Mother roasting is performed two weeks after the delivery of your new baby, or whenever you feel you can leave your postpartum bubble. Our treatment uses moxa, warm west coast rocks, and heated essential oils to help nourish your Qi and Blood. You will leave feeling renewed, rested and balanced.

AcuBalance Wellness Centre Ltd
Reproductive Health, IVF Support, Prenatal Care, Gynecology, Men’s Health, and Pain

Suite 250, 828 West 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC Canada V5Z 1E2
Telephone: 604-678-8600