At Shift Natural Medicine, our treatments for pre – conception and pregnancy involve a holistic, effective and gentle approach. We love working with clients for 3-6 months before conception, but commencing pre-conception care at any time closer is beneficial.
We provide an integrative approach, and are happy to work closely in conjunction with other health care providers you may be seeing. We have a great team of external women’s health chiropractors, physiotherapists and Pilates instructors that we refer to and work alongside to give you the best level of care.
Many of our practitioners are also mums who have first hand experience with navigating pregnancy!
Our acupuncturists specialise in pregnancy and love treating our mums-to-be. Acupuncture is commonly used to prepare the body for pregnancy; we aim to correct any imbalances that may be affecting fertility with treatments specifically designed around the female cycle.
It is very beneficial during pregnancy especially during the often challenging and nerve-racking first trimester. Treatment may continue throughout pregnancy for assistance with any health concerns and keeping the body calm and balanced, and induction treatments are recommended from 36 weeks gestation. Keeping our soon-to-be-mums feeling relaxed and nurtured during this amazing time is our number one priority.
Our naturopaths identify and address key underlying issues during the pre- conception period, whilst also providing symptom management throughout pregnancy and beyond so that the client can experience the best health outcomes for themselves and their babies.
GETTING YOUR BODY BABY READY
For our Pre-conception treatments, we recommend full blood and hormone testing, and scan to initially rule out and address any roadblocks with conceiving.
We then work with your diet, exercise and lifestyle routine, and incorporate a detox, to ensure your body and mind are at optimal health and ready to grow a beautiful healthy baby. A Key emphasis is making sure your menstrual cycle is balanced and you are educated around when and how you ovulate.
Professional supplements are prescribed so you reach all your nutritional requirements, feel great and have a healthy pregnancy, these are prescribed according to the individual but generally include:
- Pregnancy multi vitamin containing Folinic Acid
Acupuncture treatments during this time are recommended to balance the menstrual cycle, build egg quality and the uterine lining, and reduce stress hormones in the body. Frequency of treatments will vary depending on where your body is at.
Conceiving and creating a baby is 50/50 process, so it is important for the men also to take part in pre-conception work.
Similar to the women, we advise men to have testing down (their full bloods and sperm parameters), and then give guidance through diet, detoxing, exercise and lifestyle. The main professional supplements prescribed for men include Zinc and Coq10.
If men are feeling particularly fatigued, stressed or have any digestive issues going on, acupuncture treatment will be of great benefit.
The first special weeks of pregnancy
During those first special weeks of pregnancy, regular acupuncture treatments are designed to reduce anxiety, promote healthy sleep, keep the body balanced, and reduce those early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, fatigue, diarrhoea and constipation.
We like to call these sessions ‘Holding Treatments’ as they are aimed at holding the pregnancy and encouraging local blood flow to the area.
Acupuncture is known to have an immune-modulating effect, this is important at the very beginning of pregnancy to reduce the risk of rejection on the embryo from the mother’s immune system.
We find the mums-to-be love the ongoing support, reassurance and education from their practitioner during these treatments.
We recommend weekly acupuncture treatments until week 12 of pregnancy.
A happy, healthy and calm pregnancy journey
Now you have moved out of the 1st trimester, (or as some like to say ‘out of the haze’) now is the time to relax and let your body do its magic; keep growing your beautiful baby.
If you are feeling well, we encourage you to check in with us for acupuncture treatments every 4 weeks, to keep the body calm and balanced. However, if symptoms develop or are severe, we recommend coming in weekly.
During your pregnancy, we may help with the following:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Diarrhoea and Constipation
- Anxiety, Depression and Mood swings
- Back pain, Sciatica, Carpel tunnel, Leg Cramps
- Skin rashes
- Cold and Flu, Sinusitis
We recommend monthly acupuncture treatments during the 2nd and 3rd trimester, or if you are feeling unwell, we recommend weekly.
PRE-LABOUR + INDUCTION TREATMENTS
Acupuncture for induction is a treatment plan aimed to increase the chance of naturally occurring labour without medical intervention. Treatments are designed to increase blood flow to the uterus, help move bub into place, soften the cervix and calm the mind of soon-to-be mum. Acupuncture treatments ideally commence around 36 weeks, however you may commence induction treatments later if you have missed this time.
It is important to note that acupuncture will not bring on labour if mum’s body and bub are not ready. Practitioners do not aim to interfere with natural hormone changes during this time but rather, support the natural process and decrease the likelihood for medical induction.
In 2008 the Cochrane Collaboration reviewed three recent trials of 212 women comparing acupuncture used for third trimester cervical ripening/labour induction. The review suggested women receiving acupuncture required less use of other induction methods compared with women receiving standard care alone.
We recommend starting treatments at 36 weeks gestation, starting with one weekly treatment. These sessions are aimed at moving bub into place, loosening ligaments and tendons in the hips and pelvis, and relaxing Mum and baby. From 38 weeks we suggest increasing treatments to twice weekly. Treatments are focused on creating a down-bearing action and increasing blood flow and energy to the uterus. Treatments may also address any other concerns of symptoms you may be experiencing such as stress, anxiety, sleep disturbances, headaches etc. Many women report an increase in bub’s movements during treatments and occasionally gentle abdominal tightening.
One in four babies will present by breech during the pregnancy with the majority of them moving into natural position by 34 weeks. If this is not the case for you and you would like to avoid the likelihood of c-section, acupuncture can help.
Acupuncture and the traditional Chinese medicine method of moxibustion are commonly used to turn a breech baby. Clinical experience suggests most success occurs at 33-35 weeks gestation with some babies also turning later. There are some cases were practitioners prefer not to attempt turning breech babies such as in twin pregnancies or in patients with high blood pressure. A detailed discussion will precede acupuncture to ensure treatment is safe for mum and bub.