Breech Babies| Labour | Post Partum Depression

Turning Breech Babies with Moxibustion

Bl67 moxibustion
Bl67 moxibustion

If you are afraid of needle, don’t worry, for turning breech babies we only use a herb called Moxa, which is traditionally harvested, dried in sunlight and stored.

There is an Acupuncture point on the outside of your little toenail, Zhiyin, on the Bladder meridian which is paired with the Kidney meridian which is the water element representing the beginning of things. This point is stimulated for twenty minutes on each foot, by burning a moxa stick and to hold it close to this point, which gives an intense heat. The procedure is repeated twice a day for a maximum of five days. Don’t worry, you won’t have to come to the clinic everyday. I can simply show your partner (or someone close to you) how to do it, and give you a few moxa sticks so your partner can do it instead of me once at home. However, please ring me when the baby has flipped so I can share your joy!

Often you don’t feel it turn, as it can happen at night. I have

given this treatment to several women and it worked for all of them. The statistics show that moxibustion encourages the baby to turn in 75% of the cases. The ideal time to use this technique is between 30 and 36 weeks into your pregnancy. It is less effective if you are more than 36 weeks pregnant.

Please share this with anyone you know as it is really worth trying moxibustion.

Inducing Labour with Acupuncture

These last weeks, I have seen several women who came to have an acupuncture treatment to induce labour. As all of them asked me many technical questions about how it works, I thought that writing to answer some of these questions.

First of all, acupuncture to induce labour is a pretty common practice in China. It is a natural and safe (for the mother and the baby) way to induce labor by helping the cervix to ripen and dilate.

This specific acupuncture treatment stimulates oxytocin to be produced, which is the natural hormone that initiates labor.

To do these treatment, we only use 8 needles and we stimulate the points for 30 minutes. To make the treatment more effective, and to stimulate the points in a stronger way, I also use a TENS machine (electro acupuncture) that I attached to the needles. Don’t worry, it is not painful, and it has shown some fantastic results. Most of women labours started 24h to 48h after the treatment. 

If you are ready to go into labor but would prefer to avoid medical induction, you can also use acupressure to aid in bringing on contractions and ultimately to give birth to your baby.

There are 3 particular points that you (or your partner) can massage 1 minute, six time a day. Press and rub these spots in a circular motion. It should feel sore or tender but not painful.

Post Partum Depression “Baby Blues”

Over the last few years, I have noticed that many women that I have been treating during their pregnancy, often fear that they will suffer from the symptoms of the baby blues. The cause of this mild depression (which can turn into a post partum depression, if the baby blues doesn’t go away after a few weeks) is unknown. However, it is very likely due to a result of hormonal changes and lack of sleep from feeding and caring for the baby all night.

Following simple concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine could help many women to not experience any symptoms of the baby blues.

An important part of Chinese Medicine, is the concept of “adequate rest” to ensure women completely recover from childbirth. This concept involves the idea that women should take at least a month to fully recover from childbirth. During that month, the partner and relatives should be very present to help with every day activities such as cleaning the house, shopping, cooking dinner or dealing with other situations. In our society, women are more likely to be encouraged to be a “super mum”, going back to work and fit for action only two weeks after given birth. Therefore, if your situation allows it, the first advice is to REST as much as you can. When the baby is asleep, it is not the time to sort out the house, but it is also a time for you to rest.

Giving birth, is very depleting for a woman and a lot of emphasis should also be put on having an appropriate diet: a diet that aims at “building Blood and Energy”.

Food that build Blood include:

  • corn, sweet rice, beetroot, all dark leafy greens, mushroom, apricot,
  • avocado, date, kidney bean, sesame seeds, chicken, mussels, egg and soya milk as well as the obvious
  • iron rich foods such as red meat and spinach.

Food that build Energy include:

  • Oat porridge with dates
  • Roast sweet potatoes, pumpkin and yams with rosemary
  • Chicken stir fry with shiitake mushrooms and rice
  • Shepherds pie with beef mince, mushrooms, carrots and mashed potato as a topping
  • Peanut Satay sauce with chicken or meat on rice
  • Potato and egg salad
  • Tuna fish pie made with hard boiled eggs and served with mashed potatoes and peas
  • Stir fired Tofu, eggplant and mushrooms with sesame seeds on rice
  • Home made muesli slice with honey and dates

Ideally, acupuncture treatment is also given once a week during 3 weeks, starting 2 weeks after giving birth. Acupuncture, can be incredibly helpful to balance the hormones and to improve depression by increasing seratonin and relieving anxiety by relaxing the muscles and increasing the dopamine and other anti-anxiety chemicals in the brain. It is also a great way, to help to “build Blood” in the body.

As a conclusion, you do not necessarily have to suffer from baby blues if you follow these 3 advice:

  1. REST as much as you can. Involve your relatives and partner as much as possible for the everyday activities.
  2. Focus on your DIET and make sure you choose Blood nourishing and Energy building Food.
  3. Get 3 ACUPUNCTURE treatments, once a week, starting 2 weeks after you have given birth.

Reference: Debra Betts  “The essential guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth” © 2006

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