Acupuncture has been used for over 2000 years in China as a specialised treatment for women in pregnancy care and postpartum recovery. It is becoming increasingly popular in Western countries, used by practitioners and specially trained midwives in several European countries and New Zealand.
Pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal recovery are viewed in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a window of opportunity to enhance womens well-being. Value is placed on promoting preventive care to strengthen the mother and baby as well as dealing with problems as they occur during pregnancy. Acupuncture can be used in a variety of ways to promote foetal and maternal health.
Maternity Acupuncture Support aims to foster an integrated approach to pregnancy where conventional midwife-led care may be supported by a drug-free, holistic option offering women a choice to enhance their physical and emotional health, and to address pregnancy discomforts.
Conditions in pregnancy which may be treated by acupuncture include, amongst others:
• Nausea and vomiting • Constipation • Heartburn • Tiredness and exhaustion • Insomnia • Anxiety and depression • Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) • Lower back pain and sciatica • Carpal tunnel syndrome • Leg cramps • Breech and posterior position babies • Acupuncture as routine pre-birth treatment • Labour encouragement • Teaching acupressure in labour for pain relief
Maternity Acupuncture Support operates in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. It is no longer based in Lister Hospital, Stevenage or the Bedford Hospital, Bedford; instead, Kate Henley has clinics in Harpenden and Whitwell, Hertfordshire and Ann Brownbill is based in Wootton, Bedfordshire.
“I had one scan and the baby was still breech so I continued with the moxa. I was sent for another scan yesterday and unbelievably the baby has turned head down!! Hopefully it will remain that way so I can go ahead with a natural birth. Thank you for all your help”. RP
“7 months into my pregnancy and I was still struggling with nausea and vomiting so my … midwife suggested I contact … (Maternity Acupuncture Support) … I must say that it was one of the best decisions. It helped me with the vomiting and indigestion and my general well-being. I still use some of the techniques. I will definitely recommend this service. RG
“I really do not think I would have got through the last few months if I hadn't discovered Maternity Acupuncture … I was signed off work at 14 weeks as I could hardly walk, bend or sit straight on a chair … the pain was unbearable. I had never tried acupuncture before but … I felt so relaxed during the treatment, something that I hadn't felt for around 2 to 3 weeks ... (and) within 3 days I could feel improvement and my back continued to get better as the days/weeks went on and even better with every treatment…” LB
“The induction acupressure was a bit of a success! Within a few hours labour had begun ... nice straight forward water birth in the end too! We both felt the acupressure points were useful. The points on the back and sacrum were particularly good during the long phase of early labour while we were at home ... it was helpful to have as many coping strategies to hand as possible and to both be able to get involved. Thanks so much for your help”. RC