Encouraging a Faster Postpartum Recovery with Acupuncture
One of the many wonderful practices of Chinese culture is the honoring of a woman’s recovery after birth. Traditionally a woman is cared for at home by friends and family for 30 days after childbirth. Unfortunately, our western culture tends to be somewhat the opposite. The expectation is often to return to normal activity and work, as soon as possible. Go, go, go! We push ourselves past the discomforts, loss of strength and sometimes skip the journey of self-care altogether.
Why does it matter? Your future functioning and health depend on it! Future successful pregnancies depend on it! We really do need to take care of that nourishment and recovery now. So what CAN you do? While you may not get a 30-day pampering after giving birth there ARE resources that can enhance your postpartum recovery including:
- Moxabustion (heat therapy)
- Herbal Medicine
- Specialty chiropractic (Dr. Megs chriopractic/yoga rehab)
- Postpartum massage (All of our therapists provide this service!)
Acupuncture can tackle the many physical complaints and challenges in your recovery time, not to mention mental stress and exhaustion! Yes, please!
We know all too well the mental toll birthing and new parenting can have on an individual. Thankfully, we are more open to acknowledging how impactful the post-pregnancy blues can be. Overwhelmed, tired, the pressure to be the perfect happy parent, and the hormone shifts can be significant. For all the reasons listed below, we encourage you to seek acupuncture and/or herbal care to empower your journey back to yourself. You deserve it.
You’ve just spent the last nine months growing a human. Your body is completely transformed. You got through nausea, insomnia, heartburn, and all the aches and pains. Then you had to get that little bundle out. I mean, what’s not taxing about that? You used a significant part of your ‘essential’ reserves to do all this work, so don’t forget that you deserve a refill and reboot!
This is one of the superpowers of acupuncture! Acupuncture treatments work to add those extra layers of mental insulation we all need. The mechanism is largely due to its potent effect to calm the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight, cortisol, and stress!) and boost the parasympathetic response (rest, digest and heal). It literally reminds your nervous system how to moderate stress by regulating cortisol production. Don’t forget, early parenthood is spent in heightened awareness and fight or flight mode!
RESIDUAL ACHES AND PAINS
Not only are you tired but now you are left with the after-effects of that complete body transformation. Ligaments and muscles were stretched and weight distribution did a number on your back. Postural changes with breastfeeding affecting the upper traps and neck? We can always incorporate gua sha (fascial release) and cupping to help. Don’t forget your massages and Dr. Megs postpartum rehab (fill out her contact form for more info on upcoming sessions or book here).
LACTATION AND MASTITIS
Milk letdown can be difficult. Acupuncture and moxibustion (heat therapy) can help release those areas obstructing flow. And like we already mentioned, your resources may be low, and acupuncture is great to boost the body’s resources, and hence lactation function. If you are working with low supply, latch issues, or pain with nursing, we also encourage working with a lactation consultant and would love to share some referrals.
RE-ESTABLISH A HEALTHY MENSTRUAL CYCLE
Again with the cortisol! Did you know that cortisol is part of our fight or flight response and therefore has first dibs on the cholesterol reserves that make all your reproductive hormones? Our poor progesterone and estrogen are just waiting for the leftovers. Understandably, this could explain why your ‘luxury’ hormone function may be slow to recover. Irregular cycles, pain, heavy flow, PMS, Insomnia, and night sweats can all be addressed with acupuncture and herbal medicine.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO COME IN?
Ideally, seeking care 1-2 months after giving birth is best to avoid future issues and/or to prepare for another pregnancy.
TRIADA BLOG: ACUPUNCTURE FROM FERTILITY TO POSTPARTUM:
Part I. Acupuncture and Fertility
Part II. Acupuncture During Pregnancy.
Part III. Acupuncture for Postpartum Care