Written by Heather Rule, Acupuncturist at Yoga Mamas
In Traditional Chinese Medicine a lot of attention is paid to health of the new parent in the postpartum period. In postpartum acupuncture treatments, I take a holistic approach to care by incorporating acupuncture, diet and recipes suggestions, as well as lifestyle advice to help get you back to feeling like yourself again.
1. Mother Warming with Moxa:
One of the simplest and nicest treatments I do, or teach the partners of my clients to do, in the days following labour is called Mother Warming. In this treatment the lower abdomen is gently warmed with moxibustion, a therapeutic herb that is burned a few inches from the surface of the body, to help the uterus contract back to it’s pre-pregnancy size, reduce blood loss and boost energy. This treatment can also aid in invigorating the organs responsible for building milk supply for people who are planning to breastfeed or pump. And it feels sooooo nice!
2. Lactation Support:
A lot of people don't know how effective acupuncture treatments can be for supporting breastfeeding. We use points on the body to help with milk let-down; increase milk supply; reduce inflammation in the case of blocked ducts or mastitis; as well as offer simple dietary suggestions to build milk supply. If you need to bring your little one into your treatment with you, we can make special adjustments so that you can safely and comfortably hold your baby during your treatment if you need to feed.
3. Aches and Pains:
During the postpartum period you may find that you still have some of the aches and pains you had in pregnancy, as well as upper back pain and arm pain from holding your new baby. Acupuncture is great at treating muscular pain and a couple of treatments can go a long way to helping your body adjust to its new demands.
When your baby is born we start to look at improving quality of sleep vs quantity of sleep. Acupuncture treatments can help to calm the mind and relieve stress so that when your slumber is interrupted by your new baby you can get back to sleep quickly and easily. Quality sleep is so essential at this time as it effects not only your energy but your mood. Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to get the sleep you need.
There are many factors that can contribute to the blues in the postpartum period. Acupuncture can offer calming treatments as well as treatments to compliment other kinds of support you may be using for anxiety and depression during this time. Some research suggests that acupuncture treatments can be as effective as medications for managing postpartum depression and anxiety.