'Traditionally pregnant women were treated as if they were the finest pieces of jade throughout their pregnancy. 

The advice included - 'her sleeping place should be peaceful and quiet, she must not be exposed to fear or harm, 
eat barley and drink exquisite and throughly cooked things and fancy sour broths. Avoid raw and pungent foods 
and be waited on by handsome servants.'

Pregnancy

Acupuncture can help prepare you and your body for pregnancy. We can forget the physical toll this wonderful period can have on our bodies. And we are not always prepared for the physical changes we go through during this period. Therapy choices during this period are limited due to possible interactions with your baby or risk factors associated with some therapies.

Acupuncture is a proven, safe and effective therapy that can help with many of the aliments and aches and pains associated with pregnancy. Our patients are constantly surprised at how relaxing and nourishing an acupuncture treatment can feel. Common issues such as varicose veins, nausea, high blood pressure, hay-fever, ligament pain, heartburn, insomnia can arise during this period and there aren't many conventional treatments that are safe for pregnant women. Acupuncture can help with all of these.


Birth Preparation

35 weeks is the optimal time to start thinking about preparing for your birth. Whether you are considering a natural birth or will be having a c-section acupuncture can help to prepare your body. It can help stimulate the production of oxytocin for an easier birth or help you recover faster from the anaesthetic. If you would like to optimise your birth experience Sheira has prepared a birth preparation series of treatments that includes a series of treatments to help prepare your body and an acupressure workshop for you and your birthing partner to teach you both acupuncture points that help manage pain and promote labour. We will also discuss some post birth techniques you can do for yourself to help you recuperate faster.


Acupressure for Labour workshop

Usually studies offering women natural techniques during labour report that while the women felt the interventions useful there was no difference in birthing outcomes such as epidurals and Caesarean section rates. However a study found that women using specific natural interventions reduced their epidural rate (29% versus 69% in the usual care group) and halved their c-section rates. This is statistically significant, which means it unlikely to be due to chance finding. The women in the natural intervention group were shown the acupressure points taught in this workshop. For more information on this study that also include visualisation and relaxation, breathing and massage and yoga techniques click here


Read what a couple of our Acupressure for Labour workshop attendees had to say -

Using acupressure points contributed significantly to my daughter’s birth being quick and medication free. My husband and I went to see Sheira to learn the pressure points a few weeks before my due date and we continued to practice them each day from then onwards. This enabled us to become more confident in being to locate and use them. When it came to my labour we used different points to help us through the different stages up until birth itself; so my husband was involved with every contraction throughout the process. This really helped me stay calm and feel fully supported and definitely made the birth feel more of a joint effort!

                                                                                                         Dr R Stabler, psychologist and new mother, UK

  

  In the weeks before the birth I was starting to feel anxious about my role during the birth itself. I had read lots of information about different massage techniques but I could not imagine using them when my wife was screaming in pain. Acupressure points just felt more focussed and gave me something more purposeful to be involved with. In the run up to the birth and more acutely during the birth itself, I really felt part of the experience and was able to help my wife with her pain in a demonstrable way. Sheira’s expert techniques were delivered in a warm and friendly manner and gave me the confidence I needed to be a supportive birth partner. We would not hesitate recommending her to others.

Mr A Colin, soliticor and new father, UK

 

 



Post partum care

The month following birth is called ‘The Golden Month’ in Chinese Medicine, traditionally it was of utmost importance that the new mom and newborn get exceptional care during this time. A well-rested healthy mom can better care for her baby, breastfeed, and is less likely to experience postpartum depression. A loved one would stay with mom and take care of the cooking and cleaning responsibilities, as well as changing and washing baby. At this time in life, the new mom is only responsible for feeding the baby and regaining her health. Mom and baby do not leave the house in this time and demanding visitors are not allowed for a month. Baby sleeps next to mom at all times until at least six months old.

The traditional practice of warming moms immediately after giving birth and in the weeks that follow is used worldwide within various cultures. It is very important to seal the gateways, which have been opened by birth, and to keep wind and cold from entering. Cultures all over the world have kept mother and baby warm through various means. In Malaysia rocks are warmed and placed over the new mother’s shrinking abdomen. In other cultures new fathers light a fire near or under the mother’s bed that is kept burning for weeks. In still others, warming sand, oil, and herbs are heated and applied to the mother.

In Chinese Medicine we use moxa a wonderfully, nourishing herb from the mugwort family to warm of the uterus and lower abdomen in a process called 'mother roasting' after a few days after birth if conditions are right. 

We can offer a home visit for this service (extra cost applies)





Lifestyle Tips for new mothers


Rest and warm up:

  • Rest up, all day, every day for the whole month following birth. It will be difficult but will benefit both you and your baby.
  • Keep your body warm, particularly the feet by always wearing socks or slippers even indoors so as not to expose the body to cold 
  • Warming oil massages will help your ligaments and tissues realign as well as decrease bleeding and provide relief from body pain. Using warming oils, such as sesame, will give added benefit.

  • Eat and drink nourishing and warming foods:

    • Eat foods that help with recovery from an illness: chicken soup, warm easy-to-digest soups and stew, blood-building foods like high quality meats, beetroots, leafy greens, black grapes or juice, cherries, yams, kidney beans, black beans, ginger.
    • Warming teas will help maintain your milk suppl and heal sore body. There are variety of teas on market including chilli teas which will help warm you up naturally

  • Avoid excessive cold:

    • Avoid cold things - both in your food and environment. This will help your body recover faster and more effectively and can contribute to a good milk supply.
    • Avoid: cold drinks, greasy/fatty foods, raw foods, ice cream, cold places and drafty conditions, skimpy clothing, baths (even warm ones), and swimming for one month after childbirth.

Subpages (1): Pregnancy Resources