Traditional Chinese Medicine Applied to Birthing
Chinese medicine can be used in a variety of ways to promote fetal and maternal health during both the pregnancy and postpartum periods. Research has shown that acupuncture, for example, can be a safe, effective, drug-free treatment option during pregnancy for a broad range of conditions (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11843784).
It can prevent nausea, morning sickness and dry retching in early pregnancy, as well as anxiety throughout the entire process by calming our instinctive, “fight-or-flight” response. Acupuncture can also stave off sciatica and musculoskeletal pain in the back, ribs and pubic bone, relaxing muscles and decreasing inflammation, pain and tension.
A treatment called moxibustion can be performed using the herb mugwort at 33 to 35 weeks for breech or posterior babies. Starting about a month before the expected delivery date, acupuncture treatments specifically targeted at preparing the pelvis and cervix are recommended. After delivery and throughout the postpartum period, acupuncture helps to regulate hormones and emotions, improve energy, promote healing—especially in C-section deliveries—and support healthy lactation. These, however, are only a few of the ways that Chinese medicine can help pregnancy and birth to be healthier and easier.
The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine prepares students for real-world holistic health careers in acupuncture and massage therapy. Its Chicago campus specializes in doctoral and master’s degree programs in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, along with massage therapy associate’s and certificate programs. Location: 65 E. Wacker Pl. For more information, call 866-276-0717 or visit PacificCollege.edu.