PREPARE FOR BIRTH:

Pre-birth acupuncture refers to series of treatments in the final weeks of pregnancy to prepare women for childbirth. Its offers a range of positive effects in labor that goes beyond reducing the time in labor and reduction rate of medical intervention.

In clinical practice acupuncture is an ideal method to help women prepare themselves to have the most efficient labor possible.

Research has demonstrated that the mean duration of labor in a group of women giving birth for the first time was reduced from 8 hours and 2 minutes in the control group (70 women) to 6 hours and 36 minutes in the group of 70 women who had receive pre- birth acupuncture.

Acupuncture can be used in two main ways in the later stages of pregnancy:

1.   Firstly, specific pre–birth treatments, in the form of a standard set of points, can help prepare a women’s body for birth, with emphasis on preparing the cervix and pelvis for labor.

2.  Secondly, treatment can be given to deal with medical conditions such as pregnancy induced hypertension and symptoms such as heartburn and hemorrhoids, insomnia, fear and anxiety.

 

Traditional Chinese medicine has a long history of advocating that women modify their lifestyle throughout pregnancy, to ensure healthy babies and efficient births. This has involved advice on regulating physical activity, following dietary guidelines and maintaining a calm emotional state.

Physical activity: it is important for women to find a form of gentle, stamina building exercise that suits her lifestyle. This should be invigorating but not exhausting. Suggestions include walking, swimming, and Tai Chi or yoga classes designed for pregnancy. It is also just as important for women to be able to rest before becoming exhausted. In the latter stages of pregnancy it is suggested that a women creates a”down time” during the day when she just rest or have a sleep.

Diet: dietary recommendations include avoiding spicy, pungent and greasy foods.

Emotions: women should pay attention to activities that upset her, instead of dismissing these feeling 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 concentrates on more positive events.

 

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-Gilli Stuppel, L.Ac
Licensed Acupuncturist, Childbirth Doula, Herbalist, Naturopath

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