Everything's Coming Up Babies! Rebecca talks acupuncture & motherhood

After receiving my degree in Oriental Medicine in 2007, I completed two post graduate internships. I first traveled to China and then Indonesia, where I worked with women and men seeking acupuncture treatment for fertility support and pregnancy care at the Bumi Sehat Birthing Center in Bali (http://goo.gl/r4xKgd). Long before conceiving of Healing Foundations and before I even began thinking of beginning a family of my own, it was in Bali that I learned how acupuncture and Oriental Medicine are key to building healthy families.

At Healing Foundations, we’ve been lucky enough to help a number of families get their start. Those adorable faces in this month’s newsletter header–all part of the HF family. So many babies are born every day however, pregnancy can be a tricky thing.

My journey to motherhood was not a straight shot. The past 2 years have been full of extremes. I have experienced the highs of finding out I was pregnant and lows of losing two of them early on. I am a healthy young woman. I ate well, exercised, took my vitamins, and was overjoyed with the idea of meeting my future little one. All I could be told was that my two miscarriages were just my body’s natural response to an unviable baby due to chromosomal abnormalities. I’d heard the statistic that 1-in-4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, but it really didn’t sink in until it happened to me, and before I was finally able to meet my daughter Morgan.

Walking the Walk
As an Oriental Medicine practitioner, it’s easy to tell a hopeful or expectant woman ways we might help her, but my first-hand experience is one I am happy to share.  Preparing my body for pregnancy was the first step - regulating my cycle and balancing reproductive hormones through acupuncture, along with a complete vitamin supplement. During my first and second trimesters, acupuncture supported me through hormonal changes, boosted my immune system and helped reduce swelling, aches, and fatigue. In the third trimester, when physical demands increase exponentially, CranioSacral therapy and myofascial release eased the pains from carrying a tiny, but growing human being. Perhaps most importantly, routine acupuncture treatments helped me remain calm and present throughout my entire pregnancy by reigning in my stress, fears and anxiety surrounding first-time motherhood.

Stress during pregnancy is a common issue affecting the health of both baby and mother. Cortisol is an important hormone in fetal development, but stress can cause levels of cortisol to spike. Studies show that elevated prenatal stress hormones cause an increased risk of early miscarriage, preeclampsia, premature birth and postnatal development delays. With regular treatments, I was able to remain even-keeled throughout my pregnancy, avoiding intense mood swings, nausea, breakouts, or unusual food cravings. Postnatally, an improper balance of stress hormones can affect production of breast milk – I personally was surprised at how much so. Now, six months post-partum, my wellness treatments continue, for my own health as well as for baby Morgan.

Your Pregnancy, Your Way
More and more women are turning to acupuncture for fertility support and to treat the discomforts of pregnancy and post-partum recovery. Fatigue, pelvic, back and sciatic pain, sinus congestion, stress and anxiety, nausea ,vomiting, headaches and mastitis can be effectively relieved without any side effects. Research shows that acupuncture is helpful in managing depression during pregnancy, reducing preterm births and inductions while improving perinatal outcomes.
 
Every person is different, and so are their needs.  At Healing Foundations our acupuncturists and massage therapists work together as a team to support you at any stage of your journey. Whether you are preparing for conception or seeking drug-free holistic pregnancy care, traditional Chinese medicine offers you treatment options and personalized care for a healthy happy pregnancy and beautiful healthy baby.

 Rebecca Gemperle

Rebecca Gemperle