Last week I had the honour to talk with a lovely group of international mothers-to-be about acupuncture and how it can help pre/post pregnancy. Most of the participants were experiencing their first pregnancy but a few were already far along into their second.
I was really excited to talk to TPG because both of my children were literally made in Japan. And as an acupuncturist here in Japan I heavily relied on eastern medicine and a great midwife to help both of my pregnancies, labours and post pregnancies run smoothly.
The group began with a get to know session. I was really happy that there were so many mothers from different countries in the group. In my experience the cultures of pregnancy and birth varies heavily from country to country. Having an international group means that their is a lot of information that can be shared easily. This information sharing can help to relieve the stress of being pregnant and/or giving birth in Japan. That is why I often recommend my patients to become members of groups like Tokyo Pregnancy Group. A forum like this is empowers mothers by giving them access to the community resources like acupuncture. It also helps the moms to create a support group and of course it is a big stress reliever.
I really wanted to give everyone a good look at how much acupuncture can help with pre and post pregnancy so I began with talking a bit about our clinic, myself and Japanese acupuncture in general. I then went on to discuss the signs of a healthy and unhealthy pregnancy. Morning sickness is a really good example of both a healthy and unhealthy pregnancy. I told the group that it is perfectly normal to have morning sickness between the 6th and 14th week. Morning sickness that lasts longer than the 14th week is a sign that your body is responding poorly to the pregnancy. Acupuncture helps to alleviate unhealthy morning sickness by strengthening the bodies good chi and helping to remove cold from the abdomen. This, combined with a healthy lifestyle, heals the body and allows it to overcome morning sickness.
I then talked about what I term: ACU pregnancy, ACU Labor and ACU post pregnancy (for mum and baby).
ACU Pregnancy: Acupuncture is very effective in all stages of your pregnancy. In the first few weeks it can help the mums body to relax and overcome common ailments like morning sickness and water retention and it also helps the baby to develop. In mid-term it continues to help the baby develop in utero while helping the mums body to relax into the pregnancy. Many pregnant mothers often start to complain of back/shoulder pain and cold feet during this period because of the weight of the baby. It is critical that the mum doesn’t suffer in silence about things like this because they can cause snowball complications like breech. The common cold and stomach bugs are also completely treatable with acupuncture. This is a big relief during a period that mum isn’t allowed to take any medications!
ACU Pregnancy – Breech and ACU Labor: Acupuncture is also incredibly successful in turning breech babies and helping the mums body to prepare for birth, induce and help labor along.
ACU Post Pregnancy – Mum and Baby: This is the last stage in the grand experience. If the mothers body does not heal correctly after birth it can lead to poor overall constitution later on and in some cases infertility. It is as equally important for the baby. Babies have a huge hurtle to overcome after exiting mums calm and warm belly. There are bright lights, cold, wind, a new food sources, germs…the list goes on and on. I recommend that both mum and baby get a good session to realign the body within a month after birth and even sooner if there were any complications during the pregnancy or birth. Babies are able to receive acupuncture from day 1 to the ripe age of 12! It helps children to overcome everything from night terrors to bed wetting. It is also incredibly successful in the area of ADD and other learning disorders. I personally have had great success with healing kids ear infections, constipation, eye infections, eczema and many other disorders. For new mothers it helps a varied array of issues from things like closing the cervix, regaining strength, breastfeeding problems and c-section recovery.
At the end of the lecture their was a small buffet of food and a little bit of socialisation time. It was really an incredible experience for me. I am excited that through lectures like this more and more women will be exposed to the healing art of acupuncture ensuring that less and less women suffer in silence through what should be a healing and beautiful experience.
For all those pregnant and post pregnant moms out there: GET ACUPUNCTURE, LOVE, LAUGH and ENJOY EVERY MOMENT!!
Heather Maya 鈴木