Postnatal Care – what do acupuncture and moxibustion have to offer?

In the post natal period women are prone to suffering from deficient conditions following the immense consumption of energy following the childbirth (whether vaginal or c-section).  From a traditional Chinese medicine viewpoint it is seen to be very important that the new mother receives enough rest to ensure she is completely recovered from the birth, and this applies to all women and not just those who have had a difficult birth or pregnancy. Resting for up to at least one month is seen as necessary to rebuild the blood and energy lost through pregnancy and childbirth, an idea that is rarely taken up in the Western world today! Partners and family members endeavor to be around for a few days after the birth for about a week, 2 if you are lucky, and then its back to normal! (Of course normal is not normal because you now have a new baby to look after so everything is anything but normal!) Most mums manage to cope but often end up absolutely exhausted a few weeks and months later.  It’s no wonder that some mums then go on to become postnatally depressed.

While 30 days (or even 100 days in some of the Chinese texts) of recovery time may initially sound a little excessive, it is in reality a reasonable time period if it is considered that this is needed to compensate for not only the birth, but also the total experience of being pregnant for nine months. This is not a time for absolute bed rest but rather a time where physical rest is taken at every opportunity, exercise is appropriate (not an exhausting attempt to get back into shape), and attention is placed on diet, so that there is an emphasis on building blood and energy.

Ideally acupuncture treatment is also given once a week commencing from 2 weeks postpartum for a total of 3 weeks to promote stamina and an efficient recovery.  Acupuncture can also be useful at this time to balance emotions, minimise any local pain or bleeding difficulties, help with any breastfeeding problems, aid perineal healing, and encourage the uterus to contract.

Mother Warming

Mother warming is a one off treatment given to new mums ideally in the first 10 days after birth (but up to one month is still ok) using a moxa stick on the abdomen. The smokeless moxa stick is lit and the heat generated from it is healing and comforting. The treatment is designed to prevent cold from entering the empty uterus and is deeply tonifying and strengthening, thus will energise and aid recovery. For women who have had a caesarean scar care is taken to avoid moxa over this area if it is overly red. Following the mother warming, some gentle acupuncture is given to further calm, relax and tonify which will be tailored according to how the mum is feeling. The whole thing lasts about 45 minutes.

In keeping with the principles of rest, Mother Warming treatment is offered at your home and costs the same price as a treatment in clinic – £50.  Diet is an important part of recovery and we will discuss easy to prepare recipes to build energy and Please call Sally for further details 07956 367003