Auckland Acupuncture Article Series: Find out how acupuncture can help ready the body for giving birth and what physical activity and diet is recommended during pregnancy.
It is important for woman to find a form of gentle, stamina building exercise that suits her lifestyle. This should be invigorating but not exhausting. Good examples are: walking, swimming, Tai chi or yoga classes designed for pregnancy. In the latter stages of pregnancy it is suggested that a woman creates a “down time” during the day when she can just rest or have a sleep.
Dietary recommendations include avoiding spicy, pungent and greasy foods. I often find there is a problem of excessive mucous production in the later stages of pregnancy, as women tend to increase their consumption of damp-producing foods (for example dairy products, rich meats, bananas and concentrated juices, especially oranges and tomato) in the belief that these are healthy and that they need the extra calcium or iron these foods provide.
It is useful for women to pay attention to activities that upset them and not dismiss these feelings as “just hormonal”. It might be helpful to avoid watching disturbing films, reading sad books, or listening to negative news reports and instead, where possible, concentrate on more positive events.
Acupuncture can be used in two main ways in the later stages of pregnancy.
- Specific prebirth treatments, in the form of a standard set of points, help prepare a woman’s body for birth, with an emphasis on preparing the cervix and pelvis for labout
- Treatment can be given to deal with medical conditions such as pregnancy-induced-hypertension and symptoms such as insomnia, heartburn and haemorrhoids.
Acupuncturists are trained to provide individualised treatments according to each patients presenting pattern.
There are many other ways in which women can prepare for a natural birth – finding supportive midwives, practising yoga for pregnancy, hypnobirthing and taking naturopathic or homeopathic supplements. I find that acupuncture sits alongside these perfectly.
These prebirth visits provide an ideal opportunity to discuss the use of acupressure points in labour for pain relief and increasing labour efficiency. I find that the partners love having something to do during labour that helps reduce pain! I will often place tiny press needles (tiny needles on a plaster) over the commonly used points which can act as a guide for point location.
I recommend you download this brilliant booklet produced by Debra Betts which details how Acupressure can be used during labour. Click the link below to download now:
Books I would recommend:
Active Birth – Janet Balaskas. Good one to get out of the library for effective labour positions
The Baby Book – Martha and William Sears. This is one to buy. Our bible for the first two years with our first boy. Focused on the attachment parenting model.
Yoga Classes I would recommend:
Suzi Carson at Four Winds yoga in Ponsonby puts on excellent pre and post birth classes. http://yoga.net.nz/pregnancy-program/ Ph: 09 4822901 Mob: 027 4822901
Acupuncture Auckland: Acupuncture Studio
Create the labour experience you want. If you would like to discuss prebirth acupuncture, please contact me at Aucupuncture Studio at Pt Chevalier, Auckland city.