Have a Healthier and Happier Pregnancy

Among the first things many women notice when they become pregnant is that they are tired, nauseated and have breast tenderness. How about bone weary, can''t-make-it-through-the-day-tired? Did I mention the emotional overload that goes with the fatigue? If wise, your partner won''t have mentioned it either!

I have helped many women, such as yourself, alleviate or minimize the hormonal and physical changes that you experience as you move through the different stages of pregnancy.

I utilize different healing methods such as Neurolink which relies on the neurological feedback from the brain to determine and correct any issues your body may be experiencing as a result of being pregnant.

I also use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which incorporates the oldest, most commonly used medical procedure of acupuncture, along with other practices such as herbs, diet, massage and meditative physical exercises.

Different Discomforts of Pregnancy

Acupuncture can help your body and psyche cope with the various ailments that can occur during the different trimesters of your pregnancy.

First Trimester

As mentioned above, most women usually start off the exciting journey of pregnancy with experiencing a profound lack of energy. Throw in morning sickness and breast tenderness and you can have an uncomfortable first three months!

Second trimester

As you enter your second trimester most of the nausea has decreased or stopped altogether and your energy levels perk back up. Thank goodness! Shop for essentials for the soon-to-arrive baby, plan and have parties, get a vacation now while you have time. In other words, do all the usual things you would have done pre-pregnancy - except perhaps marathon running!

Third trimester

During your last trimester your energy levels begin to drop again as the growing baby draws more upon you and your internal reserves. Different ailments may start to show up as your body is being "challenged" by the last few pregnancy months – things like increased back pain, heartburn, hypertension, edema and too little amniotic fluid. Even annoying pregnancy hiccups!

Assessment and Diagnosis

With Traditional Chinese Medicine, we say that morning sickness is caused by the liver "attacking" the spleen. To treat this, we use methods such as acupuncture to calm the liver and tonify the spleen, thus easing the feelings of nausea.

Acupuncture can help stabilize your energy levels…you may still be tired at the end of the day, but not so much so that you can''t make the drive home safely. More consistent energy for you also means better, cleaner energy for your growing baby.

If you''re suffering from constipation during your pregnancy, acupuncture is also great for alleviating this nuisance! We nourish the yin, which in turn lubricates the large intestine to promote movement. In traditional Chinese medicine the lower back represents the kidneys and our genetic foundation. If you''re having lower back pain, I use a combination of acupuncture, moxa and massage to build up the kidney to help support your lower back and get your energy up.

I''ve used acupuncture to successfully "turn" breech presentations before the 33rd week. In such cases, I also use a heating herb and teach you to do this at home on a daily basis.

After your baby has been born, acupuncture facilitates recovery time and helps increase blood qi. It also helps build up the kidney, body qi and jing which all become depleted during pregnancy and childbirth. As well, it can help with bladder problems that many women can experience as a result of giving birth.

For nursing women, I can help you to increase milk flow, alleviate mastitis and upper back discomfort.

Chinese medicine has had thousand of year of practice to "get it right" and has many useful tips on nourishment for different stages of pregnancy. For example, it is strongly suggested during your first trimester that you eat congee – a rice porridge. It is a dish that is simple to make, easy on the digestive system and very nourishing for the yin energy (female energy that supports female activities such as "baby building").

Congee
½ cup rice
6 cups water
Slow cook for 5 to 6 hours until thick broth. Add chicken, vegetables or fruit.

Treatment

The treatment I provide to you is always individualized and targets not only your pregnancy but your overall health as well. It is suggested that a woman with a normal pregnancy see her acupuncturist once every 2 weeks in the first trimester. Treatments every two weeks allow the mother to regulate energy levels and balance hormones.

Should there be more serious complaints, visits would increase in frequency. For example, if you have nausea, extremely low energy levels or digestive complaints - these can be dealt with immediately with 3 to 6 focused treatments, and then a regular biweekly schedule can be resumed.

It has been shown that the likelihood of a woman developing issues in later pregnancy is decreased if the woman has had regular acupuncture throughout her pregnancy. Studies have also indicated that if a woman does develop a more serious illness (i.e. hypertension) those who received regular acupuncture and then an acute treatment protocol recover faster or had a less severe form of the illness.

When I work with pregnant women, treatment also includes recommendations regarding food cures and herbal medicine, and other lifestyle changes such as stress reduction and regular exercise. Everything you do to make your pregnancy as stress-free and discomfort-free as possible will be worth the effort. A happy, healthy, relaxed Mom = a happy, healthy, relaxed baby!

Next steps

For a private and confidential consultation, please call me at 604-264-9921.

I look forward to helping you attain a clear mind, light heart and balanced body!

Carla Wiseman DTCM, R.Ac, RMT