Congratulations! Your family is about to or has just increased by at least 1 (or if you’re lucky, 2 or 3!). Now the real work begins. 

Life after labour and birth is filled with love, joy, creativity, fatigue, sadness, happiness, pain, breast feeding, sleep deprivation, connection, and many other changes and surprises. There is without a doubt beauty and positivity, but there can also be struggles and challenges. 

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Acupuncture can improve your postpartum experience, in a simple, comfortable and drug-free way. Acupuncture has techniques to promote recovery following labour and birth; these include ‘mother warming’ treatments that can be given by a partner, advice on diet and the use of special acupuncture treatments to support physical and emotional recovery.

Other conditions that can be helped by acupuncture include:

  • Insufficient lactation
  • Wound healing and scar tissue repair
  • Postpartum depression and Stress management
  • Insomnia or sleep issues
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Digestive problems

Postpartum Depressions and Stress Management

Many new parents (including partners of new mothers)  experience postpartum mood swings, anxiety or depression. The drastic change in hormones, major life changes, adjustments to life with a new baby, sleep deprivation and other factors can all contribute to our need for a positive support system. 

Acupuncture is a simple, natural, drug free therapy to support people through this potentially difficult time. One study concludes that “acupuncture plus psychological intervention for postpartum depression is as effective as fluoxetine for the treatment of postpartum depression.” Fluoxetine is a common SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), a medication used to treat more serious depression or anxiety. Fluoxetine does come with potential side effects including nausea, dizziness or loss of appetite, while acupuncture has very few side effects, none of which are long lasting or serious. 

Huang H, Peng L, Zheng L, Wang L.  Observation on therapeutic effects of acupuncture plus psychological intervention for postpartum depression.  Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science 2014; 12(6): 358-361.

https://womensmentalhealth.org/posts/acupuncture-postpartum-depression/ – depression

 

A larger meta-analysis involving over 600 women experiencing postpartum depression, found that acupuncture does appear to be an effective therapy. 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29907576/ – depression

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31259837/ – depression

https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Con

Lactation Support

Acupuncture can be used to nourish and improve milk production in mothers who are experiencing challenges with lactation. 

This article outlines several studies that support acupuncture as a legitimate therapy to boost milk production. In one study from Italy women received a total of 6 treatments over 2 weeks and the authors found an overall increase in breast milk production and mother’s opportunity to exclusively breastfeed their baby. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501890/

Treatment for lactation support would be recommended 2-3/week for 3 weeks, and then 1/week for maintenance and support. 

https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1773-acupuncture-boosts-breast-milk-production

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