An important consideration for the health of mother and unborn baby is nutritional status prior to and during pregnancy. Even when women eat well, important nutrients such as iodine, iron and calcium intakes can be sub-optimal, and practitioners at MHHG are skilled at evaluating the individual’s need for these and other nutrients. In addition, many of our patients, including those who have previously consulted for infertility, seek advice for management of pregnancy-related issues.
A number of common complications of pregnancy, including nausea, constipation and gastric reflux, can be managed effectively with herbal medicines and acupuncture. Appropriate diet and lifestyle interventions can also reduce the incidence of some obstetric disorders, such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, and preeclampsia. The health of mother and infant are our primary concern and thus the herbal and nutritional supplements that we prescribe are safe to use during pregnancy are of the highest quality possible.
Breech presentations can be treated with moxibustion (the burning of a Chinese herb a few centimeters over an acupuncture point on the little toe) and acupuncture. One study from the Netherlands used moxibustion at 33 weeks as a preventative measure for breech presentation requiring caesarean section, and showed a decrease in the need of caesarean section compared to conventional treatment.
Patients are often referred to MHHG for induction labour using acupuncture, particularly when aiming to avoid the use of labour inducing drugs. Acupuncture helps facilitate the natural stages of labour and can assist with the ripening of the cervix (dilation), increase the strength of uterine contractions and also aid the mother’s recovery post delivery. Acupuncture does not interfere with any medical interventions which may subsequently occur and can also help alleviate anxiety and manage pain.
We follow up our patients in the post-partum period for ongoing care of both the mother and infant. It is important to ensure the health of the mother is supported during this sometimes difficult period. Common difficulties that women experience at this time include problems with breastfeeding and breast milk supply, cracked nipples, mastitis, and fatigue, to name a few. It is a priority for our practitioners to recognise the early symptoms of post-natal depression as an important component of post-natal care. The health of the newborn baby is also assessed and we give advice and treatment for common complaints such as colic and reflux. Some mothers and babies may need specialised help with wake/sleep cycles or feeding.