Article by City Osteopaths Reg. Acupuncturist, Sharlene Green- McInness
Recurrent pregnancy loss can be benefited with Acupuncture treatment, assisting with related immune factors, emotional distress, and hormonal imbalances. Acupuncture is also supportive of a developing foetus by improving blood flow supply and preventing involuntary uterine contractions. Balancing the hormonal interaction between the Hypothalamus and Pituitary Ovarian axis (HPO axis) regulating the body’s natural hormone production and Progesterone levels. This results in improved ovarian egg quality and a rich nourishing Uterus lining for a developing embryo, encouraging a 9 month stay.
Acupuncture can be very helpful during pregnancy and in the lead up to labour. During pregnancy we can help with such things as Morning sickness, Emotional issues and Muscular aches and pains. Leading up to labour, Acupuncture works with preparing your body for eminent labour by encouraging efficient ripening of the Cervix, assisting with energy reserves, encouraging baby’s descent and helping with baby positioning. I will show you beneficial Acupressure points that birthing partners can use to provide pain relief and assist a straight forward efficient labour.
We often receive referrals from midwives for breech babies. The treatment involved is very gentle but effective. In the treatment, I burn a Moxa stick (heated Chinese herbs) over a point on your foot. This heat is just another way of stimulating the point. Then I give you a stick of Moxa to take home and repeat the treatment yourself, daily for 10 days. For expectant mothers going over their due date Acupuncture can also be used to gently encourage the body to naturally go into labour without induction, encouraging uterine contractions and promoting labour.
Several studies have been conducted exploring the use of Acupuncture to prepare woman for labour; the first being in 1974. The results of this research concluded Acupuncture received on a weekly basis from 37 weeks, was beneficial in reducing the average labour time from 8 hours 2 minutes to 6 hours 36 minutes (in the Acupuncture group).
Further research conducted by Zeisler into the use of Acupuncture points from 36 weeks showed positive effects on first stage labour duration shortening from 5 hours 35min to 3 hours 27mins in the group who had received Acupuncture.
Research into Acupuncture from 35 weeks gestation has shown the following statistics:
· 35% reduction in inductions performed (first pregnancies 43%)
· 31% reduction in epidural rate
Kubista E, Kucera H. Geburtshilfe Perinatol 1974; 178 224-9. Zeisler H, Tempfer C, Mayerhofe Kr, Barrada M, Husslein P. Influence of acupuncture on duration of labour Gynecol Obstet Invest 1998; 46:22-5. Betts D, Lennox S. Acupuncture for prebirth treatment: An observational study of its use in midwifery practice. Medical acupuncture 2006 May; 17(3):17-20
In Asian culture it is customary for woman to have a 30 day rest post labour. Understandably society doesn’t exactly facilitate this occurring... The focus of Acupuncture treatments post-delivery are directed towards; mood balancing, assisting with energy levels, facilitating lactation and milk production.
Reg. Acupuncturist Sharlene Green- McIness