While we treat a wide range of health concerns from digestive upset to anxiety to pediatric ailments, my acupuncture practice at Ariele’s Apothecary is largely focused on fertility, supporting healthy pregnancies and helping patients have the kind of birth they envision. I’ve noticed lately that, postdelivery, some patients have been feeling sheepish in asking if they can continue to come in for treatments even though they’re not pregnant anymore. To that I say “OF COURSE!!” Herbal remedies and acupuncture post pregnancy can help to support the body in recovering from childbirth in many ways.
I created New Mama Tea for just this reason. Especially helpful in the days and weeks post-delivery, New Mama Tea can continue to help with balancing hormones and encouraging emotional well-being for months and even years. Safe to ingest while breast feeding, New Mama uses raspberry leaf, borage leaf and fennel to support milk production. This blend encourages post-partum healing, reduces stress, nourishes blood, promotes relaxation and boosts immunity of both mama and baby. This delicious blend can also help to reduce colic in the breast-fed baby.
1. Balancing Hormones
Acupuncture is an extremely powerful tool to balance hormones. Anyone who has ever been pregnant (or been the partner of a pregnant woman!) knows how whacky our hormones are both during and after pregnancy. This can affect everything from bonding with our baby to emotional balance to blood sugar to milk supply.
2. Prevent and Alleviate postpartum depression
Postpartum depression is a very real and serious issue. It is NOT simply something a woman needs to “get over.” There are completely legitimate physiological imbalances that contribute to postpartum depression. During pregnancy, we give a ton of blood and “Qi” or energy to our baby. Once we deliver our baby, that blood and qi is gone. Combine that with nursing and sleep deprivation and… BOOM… there can be some very real blood and qi deficiency, which leads to stagnation. While I won’t get into the pathomechanisms by which this affects the body, I will say that the depression it can cause can be allconsuming and debilitating. Acupuncture and herbal therapy works wonders.
3. Supports Lactation
We discussed hormones before, and in balancing the hormones, acupuncture and herbal therapy can increase milk supply. Breast milk, like hair and nails, is considered “the odds and ends of the blood.” In nourishing your blood, as well as invigorating your qi and opening up any blockages, we can absolutely increase milk supply. Acupuncture will also prevent stagnation and heat from accumulating, preventing common lactation issues like mastitis and clogged ducts.
4. Support Weight Loss Efforts
While I’m not a huge fan of weight loss as a goal in and of itself, I definitely understand that this is a common concern after giving birth. Acupuncture can absolutely help you to support your body in losing pregnancy weight in a healthy manner. We already discussed balancing hormone levels, which is paramount in weight loss. We can also help to balance blood sugar, improve digestion and diagnose and treat any other obstacles to weight loss. We help you create a nutrition plan that is appropriate for your nursing body.
After giving birth to my first son, one of the best things I did was to let go of expectations. I think this society, as a whole, expects postpregnancy women to just go back to who they were before, with the new “accessory” of a baby. When I let go of this expectation, and allowed myself to live and breathe as a totally new identity as a MOTHER I was able to live a little bit more easily. At Ariele’s Apothecary, we try to support this process in all moms, new and “old.” After all, the best gift we can give our children is a healthy, happy and fulfilled mother.