I prepare women for both home and hospital births through acupuncture inductions - when mothers are overdue - and also offer acupressure coaching for birth partners.
A study showed that women using acupuncture inductions started labour three days earlier than those in a control group. I have had a great deal of success with inductions - ideally the treatment should not be before 40 weeks and sometimes more than one treatment is needed. My Birth Preparation treatments maximize the chance of avoiding induction.
"I went to see Anne when I went a few days overdue with both my first and second babies. Each time I went into labour spontaneously within a couple of days of her treatment and was glad to avoid the need for any medical intervention."
• Acupressure in Childbirth
In a joint session coaching session with the mother-to-be and their birth partner I teach simple acupressure points to be stimulated for pain relief during labour. This can be a wonderful bonding experience for a birth partner – especially a father. Acupressure can also more generally aid the birth process by, for example, encouraging the baby to drop. This can give the father or other supporter a specific role during labour, when they can often feel helpless. I give the couple an easy-to-use handbook to take away.
The acupressure promotes the release of endorphins which helps block pain receptors to the brain, dilating the cervix and increasing the efficiency of contractions*.
Acupressure can also help with discomfort and afterpains experienced by the mother when she starts breastfeeding, by helping the milk to flow.
[* Chung UL J. (2003) "Effects of LI 4 and BL 67 Acupressure on Labour Pain and Uterine Contractions in the First Stage of Labour." Nurs Res.11(4): pp 251-60]
When your baby arrives, acupuncture can help to replenish your energy. The Chinese believe that if a baby needs to be settled, we should treat the mother.
Two weeks after the birth I recommend treatments to accelerate your return to health and replenish your energy, so you can enjoy baby to the full. By strengthening the ‘chi’ energy, acupuncture can help with the following:
• Coping with baby blues
• Uterine bleeding and after-pains
• Stimulating breast milk
• Treating mastitis and breast discomfort
CASE STUDY: Breastfeeding
A woman came to me shortly after her baby’s birth. She was having tremendous problems breastfeeding and was taking professional advice. She told me it was so hard because the baby wouldn’t latch on. In Chinese medicine we have an adage that if you treat the mother it is like treating the baby because they are so energetically connected. After treating the mother she walked downstairs, took her daughter from her husband and the baby latched on with no problems. The mother turned to me and said: “You must have thought I was making it up - it’s never been like this!" I was so happy for them all. Acupuncture can be incredibly profound and it can still surprise me. It’s amazing how one apparently small thing can make such a radical change.