pregnancy & labour

One of my favourite dietary sourcebooks, Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford, describes Autumn as the “season of harvest, a time to pull inward and gather together on all levels, a time to store up fuel, food and warm clothing, a time to study and plan for the approaching stillness of winter. Everything in nature contracts and moves its essence inward and downward. Leaves and fruit fall, seeds dry, the sap of trees goes into roots.

It's World Breastfeeding Week Aug.1-7 and seeing all the posts and articles on my facebook newsfeed has me reflecting on my experience with breastfeeding.  She and I struggled together with getting her to open her mouth and latch properly.  But despite the painful nipples, blocked ducts, mastitis, crazy pumping schedule and some tears...we perservered.  We eventually made it to exclusively breastfeeding and she is now 13 months old and is still a "nummie" girl.

Scar Healing

My sister recently had a beautiful baby girl via a c-section. Since then, she has been feeling some numbness and discomfort around her scar and was curious if acupuncture could help with the healing process. Yes, indeed it can. As she lives in Norway, I am unable to treat her. So, I instructed her to find herself a qualified local acupuncturist and in the meantime, shared a simple scar healing technique. The following treatment is designed to alleviate immediate discomfort and to set the stage for better scar healing.

Giving birth can be, and often is, one of the most awakening and meaningful experiences of life. It does not matter how many times a woman has birthed a baby, each birth is a marathon with or without road blocks along the way. Those courageous enough to run a marathon prepare for months or years prior to undertaking the venture. Given the physical and mental requirements of birthing (arguably exceeding those associated with completing a marathon), would it not make good sense to prepare for the performance?

In my last blog, I wrote about a Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) treatment called Mother Warming. With the use of a moxa stick, Mother Warming is carried out in the early post-partum period. This week, I would like to share another wonderful TCM indication which uses a moxa stick. The moxa stick  is used during pregnancy to help turn breech- or posterior-positioned babies.

Breastfeeding can be a wonderful bonding experience for new moms and their little ones. Unfortunately, this can result in aches and pains in their chest, neck, back and shoulders. I see a lot of women in my practice with some level of discomfort in these areas as the primary reason for treatment. While massage therapy is a great way to address these aches and pain, there are also things one can do in their daily life to relieve this tension. Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, the information below can be helpful in managing tension throughout the body.

In my quest to learn all that I could in order to prepare my body for pregnancy and, following that, to ‘know what to expect while expecting’, I neglected preparation for what was to follow birth. My attention was so focused on the preconception and birthing part of the story, somehow the very important post-partum chapter was all but forgotten. Through my experience of being an acupuncturist and working with pregnant, soon to be moms, this too often seems to be the case.

 Ways of improving our fitness is an ever expanding realm. One aspect I've become quite interested in lately is fitness during pregnancy. Many women, whether due to life pressures or lack of knowledge, decrease their fitness levels during pregnancy. While some women do need to slow down, there are still ways to maintain a low level of fitness with labour specifically in mind. I came across this blog site with a wonderful article describing three exercises women should keep in mid during their pregnancy to optimize an easier and successful labour.

One of our new moms came by the clinic last week to pick up her "splash prize" and I thought I would share news of what this is all about.

Over the past few years I have had the joy and pleasure of working with families, in varying capacities, throughout their child bearing years. This work has been both fascinating and rewarding, and has taught me many things about the miraculous capabilities of the human body and spirit. Some of these lessons have come from watching women recover from cesarean deliveries while caring for their newborn babies. Instantly selfless, these women's unwavering love and commitment to their new baby so often results in their own health and wellbeing becoming secondary.

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