Fertility series:Pre-birth preparations

Amanda Roe: Acupuncture and Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Call 087 6331898
Email: amanda@marketstclinic.com

In preparation for childbirth, a woman’s doctor will usually recommend weekly visits from about 36 or 37 weeks, to check the babies heartbeat and position, and also to keep an eye on the mother’s health, as certain conditions like pregnancy-induced hypertension can lead to problems.

During these final few weeks mum will hopefully be on maternity leave from work and is usually preparing the home, finalising her birthing plan and attending antenatal classes.

Women who contact me after their due date are often anxious that the hospital will have to induce labour and they worry that things will accelerate faster than the body can manage naturally.

Worry and anxiety are emotions that stress the body and activate the sympathetic fight or flight response. This is counterproductive, as the body needs to feel calm and relaxed, so that the cervix will feel safe to open and the woman’s endorphins have time to build naturally to manage contractions.

Chinese medicine has been used for thousands of years to support women through pregnancy helping with fertility issues, treating pregnancy-related conditions like nausea, heartburn, haemorrhoids, insomnia and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. Then towards the later stages of pregnancy, acupuncture is used to turn a breech baby, calm the mind, prepare the woman’s body for childbirth, induce labour, manage pain and even afterwards for postnatal depression, mastitis and insuffcient lactation.

When used to induce labour, acupuncture is best used as a series of pre-birth treatments, ideally once a week from week 36 until delivery.

These treatments are designed to:

• Promote optimal positioning of the baby for birth

• Tonify Qi and support energy levels

• Nourish blood

• Relax and soften the ligaments

• Aid cervical dilation

• Descend the baby and

• Harmonise emotions

Women report that the baby becomes more active and sessions help them to manage emotions like frustration, anxiety and fear.

Research shows that pre-birth acupuncture sessions shorten the time that women are in labour, and there is also an opportunity during these sessions to learn how acupressure can be facilitated by the birthing partner during labour for pain relief.

During pregnancy women often feel an internal need to be a super pregnant mother and to continue working and doing everything she did before becoming pregnant. But it is important to remember that in order to be in the best possible energetic place for childbirth your number one priority should be in taking care of yourself and maintaining good energy levels for labour.

It will help to eat well and stay physically active throughout your pregnancy with activities like walking, swimming, tai chi or yoga. Maintain a good sleep routine and, to keep your emotions balanced, you may even need to avoid disturbing films, sad books and negative news and instead opt for comedies to watch and read positive and inspiring books.

Please remember that during the later stages of pregnancy it is most important to prioritise time every day to rest with your feet up, or to sleep or nap during the day, so you are well rested with good energy levels in preparation for the birth.

Amanda Roe is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Acupuncturist. She uses a range of holistic therapies including guidance around food to improve fertility, emotional and mental health and support natural recover from trauma, eating disorders and other mind/body illness. For more information or to book a consultation visit www.roehealth.ie or call/text Amanda on 087 633 1898.

WCP Staff

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