I have treated hundreds of pregnant women and found acupuncture to be extremely effective at supporting a natural birth, often when Western medicine has been unable to intervene. In pregnancy, the body seeks to be in balance and I find it to be a powerful time to use Chinese medicine.

My aim is to help women to achieve a safe and natural birth and a healthy start to family life. An important aspect of this is to support the sense of well-being and connection with the baby. This is especially important for women with demanding schedules during pregnancy.

I am dedicated to treating each patient as an individual, making a traditional Chinese diagnosis, offering advice on diet and lifestyle and also prescribing patent herbs in tablet form. I give women general treatment to support any conditions they may be suffering at the time, plus specific pre-birth treatments to prepare the pelvis and cervix for a natural labour on term.

• Birth Preparation
A series of acupuncture treatments from 36 weeks to help prepare a woman’s body for childbirth. These treatments aid the preparation of the cervix and pelvis for labour, using acupuncture points which enhance energy and help with relaxation and the softening of ligaments and tendons before labour.

Pre-birth acupuncture can help reduce the duration of labour and the need for any medical intervention such as induction, epidural and caesarian section.

Research in New Zealand* suggests that pre-birth acupuncture increases the likelihood of mothers going into labour spontaneously around their due dates or – if they need to be induced – responding well to acupuncture induction and proceeding to have a natural labour.

This research showed that the duration of labour in a group of 140 women giving birth for the first time was reduced from 8 hours and 2 minutes in the control group to 6 hours and 36 minutes in the group that received pre-birth acupuncture on a weekly basis from week 36 until the due date.

[*Betts D, Lennox S. "Acupuncture For Prebirth Treatment: An Observational Study of its use in Midwifery practice." Medical Acupuncture 2006 May; 17(3): pp 17-20]

Morning Sickness
Acupuncture has shown to be safe and effective in treating nausea, retching and vomiting.

(Smith C et al, Birth, 2002 vol 29 pp 1-9

CASE STUDY: Morning sickness
A patient came to me feeling nauseous and tired, vomiting several times a day. It was hard for her to feel positive and excited about the baby because bad morning sickness can feel like food poisoning. After the first session she felt much less sick and had subsequent acupuncture which enabled her to resume a normal life and look forward to baby's arrival.

Position of Baby - Breech or Posterior lie
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association** reported 74.5% success for Chinese moxibustion - warming of points - for turning breech babies to cephalic (head down) presentation.

I have had high success in turning babies using this technique. Ideally it should be done before 35 weeks but later may be possible. The treatment involves putting heat on to a channel of energy through a point on the mother’s little toe, which gives more energy to the baby and can help them to turn. Ideally this procedure should always be supplemented by treatment of the mother’s overall health and wellbeing to boost her own energy levels.

(**Cardini F, Weixin H. (1998) "Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation". Journal American Medical Association 280:pp 1580-1584)

"I met Anne during my first pregnancy with my daughter. She was recommended to me by a couple of friends with whom she'd had success encouraging their breech babies to move the right way up. She was calm, encouraging and supportive and, although my stubborn baby refused to move, used her incredible skills to curb my symptoms of exhaustion and nausea. She has since helped me get over numerous ailments, including a bad back, stubborn cough, kidney infections and various others. She treated me throughout my second pregnancy, including coming out in the snow to treat me at home, as she refused to let me trek to her in bad weather conditions! I would absolutely recommend her ."

Other Problems in Pregnancy
I have also given treatments to relieve a variety of conditions, including:
o Pregnancy-induced hypertension
o Heartburn
o Tiredness
o Sleeping problems
o Haemorrhoids and vulval varices
o Pubic pain
o Varicose veins
o Back pain
o Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
o Oedema (swelling – often of ankles, hands and feet)
o Urinary tract infections
o Anxiety, depression and insomnia
o Constipation
o Fatigue and exhaustion
o Threatened miscarriage

CASE STUDY: Raised blood pressure
A patient came to me at 39 weeks with raised blood pressure. The hospital were concerned and were talking about a medical induction. After a single treatment her blood pressure was back to an acceptable level and she moved on to have a natural birth.

"I first went to Anne for acupuncture treatment in March 2007 when I was seven months pregnant. She was recommended by my yoga teacher because I was experiencing some physical discomfort. I immediately felt relaxed with Anne and as if I was in capable hands! Her treatments did cure the physical problems and, very importantly, I felt that they built up my emotional and mental strength so that during the birth I felt very positive and in touch with my baby and the birth process. It was a very positive experience and I feel very grateful to Anne for her part in it. Since then I have returned to her for regular treatments (well, as regular as having a small child allows!). She has always responded to me with warmth and wisdom. She radiates kindness combined with expertise and experience in her field, and her treatments have helped me profoundly."