Traditionally the first 40 days is the time referred to as ‘The Babymoon’.
In these 40 days the mother has time to recover and replenish her energy, the post partum bleed will run it’s course, the uterus will return to it’s pregravid state (the size it was before the pregnancy), and the mother’s body goes through a shifting cascade of hormonal changes that govern the establishment and regularising of breastfeeding rhythms.
In an ideal world, babies are meant to be born into 20 hands - meaning that when a child enters the world they should come into a community of care. Ideally there are people on hand to help with the cooking and cleaning, to help care for other children, to be there to take the baby so that Mom can have time to bath, to nap, to have gentle time and space to rest and replenish.
The babymoon should be an insular time of condensing into a quiet world where the only agenda is to learn how to care for the newborn, while at the same time resting and recovering in the context of a newborn’s feeding schedule.
Sadly, within our ‘nuclear family’ world many new parents do not have a local extended network to help with all the adjustments and chores that fill these early weeks. Many couples are faced with needing to find the energy to do all that these 20 hands can accomplish, but with only their own 4 hands.
The stress this can impose is quite considerable. It is so important to set yourselves up for this early neonatal phase, to have a freezer full of prepared foods, to set up a support network of people who can help out with the cleaning and chores, to minimise all external commitments and ‘ring-fence’ time to be in the wonderful bubble of welcoming your baby.
Acuhouse provide Post Partum Home Visits; we firmly believe in helping you to create a support team who will help you through these early weeks.
There is so much to say about this important time in your lives: the great adjustments, the shifts and changes, the need to replenish, finding the ability to step comfortably into a solid recovery…
Most important of all, this is a time to focus on enjoying the very early stages of parenthood. Sadly, for many couples the neonatal phase (the first month) can be overshadowed by a difficult birth story, or may be imposed on for not having much support available, or there may be concerns about minimal paternity leave that can pressurise this delicate time with unwanted stress. Not to mention the sleepless nights!!
Post partum - Acupuncture can help treat:
excess lochia ( mucous discharge)
pain or discomfort from vaginal tears/stitches
C-sec pain/poorly healing scars
difficult bowel movements
lack of appetite
lethargy and fatigue
Post Natal Depression
Does what it says on the box!
This is an ancient chinese medicine technique for treating mothers after the birth. It is a wonderful ‘one-off’ treatment, applied between day 4-6, using ‘moxibustion’.
It is a very calming treatment, and in all of her 20 years experience Jani has only ever heard Moms say “ohhhh, this feels SO GOOD!” This treatment helps to energise the mother, to aid the recovery process, and is beneficial for aiding the transition into breastfeeding.
We are happy to arrange a home visit to come and do this replenishing and vitalising treatment. It is also a great opportunity for you to ‘debrief’ the labour, to talk about anything that is concerning you, and we are also very happy to give tired Dads a pick-me-up acupuncture treatment to give them much needed strength to support the mother.
AcuHouse firmly supports women in their feeding choices, without judgement. We do believe that breastmilk is the very best thing for baby, but, we also understand that women need to make the choices that are most appropriate for them.
Our ambition is to help women feel at their very best, to help regulate the hormones to bring a sense of balance and well being.
Whatever the circumstances, we are here to support you in the context of your choices.
Acupuncture is beneficial for all things breast and lactation. Chinese medicine has a 3500 year written history and post partum treatment has been entrenched since the earliest writings. We have a strong understanding of the mechanisms to regulate flow.
There are tremendous shifts in the mother’s hormonal balance in the first few days, when the body comes down off of the labour hormones and the lactation hormone cascades come into play.
As the milk ‘comes in’, the transition which happens around day 3-4, it is most common for women to have a time of feeling a bit emotional/tearful. This is a normal part of the transition from pregnancy to motherhood.
In Chinese medicine we believe these feelings of sadness are a normal part of the birthing transitions, and that it is appropriate to grieve that the pregnancy is over - relinquishing this time of deep symbiosis of the mother housing the infant within. Even though the birth is such a very great joy, and post birthing Mum’s can be flying on a hormonal cocktail of elation and adrenalin, as the body settles and the gears switch it is appropriate to feel emotional.
Women need to distill and process their labour experience, and to have a highly acute emotive state at this time of hormonal shifting is a normal part of the transition process. This is often referred to as the 'Baby Blues' and for most women this will only last for a day or so, ususally just within the first 2 weeks. (For some women these symptoms can persist or worsen - please scroll down to read about Post Natal Depression).
We highly recommend 'Mother Roasting' treatment at this time, as it has a very calming and centring effect.
These initial weeks are a time for mother and baby to adjust to the symbiosis of breastfeeding, as baby learns how to latch and feed and mom learns how to facilitate a good latch and feed, and between them the hormone feedback loops begin to regulate the flow of breastmilk.
Did you know that as the breastmilk settles into this symbiotic rhythm that the nipple is able to 'read' the chemical needs of the baby from it's saliva, and as the breast prepares for the next feed it will exactly balance out the correct proportions of proteins, carbs, amino acids and enzymes (plus all the other 40 key nutritional ingredients in breastmilk) that the growing baby needs.
Each feed is informing the next feed and your babies nutritional needs are EXACTLY met in accordance to what aspects are precisely needed for the ever changing growth cycles within the infants body. ASTONISHING! (You can read this paragraph in a David Attenborough 'voice of wonder' , marvelling at the ingenious ways of nature)
Treating Breastfeeding has been a part of Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Acupuncture can be highly benificial in helping to regulate milk flow, and is wonderful for treating any breast discomforts.
Postnatal Depression (PND)
It is estimated that 10-15% of women will have depressive feelings that worsen, which will be diagnosed as mild, moderate or severe Postnatal Depression.
If you have been feeling any of these symptoms that have persisted for more than 2 weeks, it is so important to turn to your midwifery team and ask for help and support.
inability to cope
feelings of guilt regarding their inability to cope or not loving the baby enough
Many women suffer these feelings in the first 6 weeks without saying anything, and it is not until the regular 6 week check that the symptoms may be flagged as PND.
It is concerning that many women feel afraid to say anything about having these negative feelings and suffer in silence, which can then whirlpool into an escalation of symptoms.
How awful to suffer the first 6 weeks in isolation! If you are suffering anything within this list of symptoms, please feel confident to reach out and speak to your medical team. The NHS services are there to help you and they will receive you without judgement.
Acupuncture for Depression
In Chinese medicine we never seperate the idea of the mental emotional level from the physical - how we feel emotionally manifests physically, and our physical illness/wellness affects how we feel.
In acupuncture there is an ingrained history of how we can use the acupoints to treat the phycho-emotional state.
Jani has spent her entire career steeped in the use of acupuncture for emotional wellbeing, and for several years she ran a Stress, Anxiety and Depression clinic as part of the Shoreditch Trust - an NHS service as part of a mental health scheme called 'Peace of Mind'.
Jani has a deep and empathatic understanding of the difficulties women can face - in particular her 12 years experience of manning the Birth Crisis Helpline has given her a very clear understanding of the emotional state of postnatal depression.
Jani brings 2 decades of experience and training to her work with post natal depression, always approaching the patients care from an integrative platform. Jani works with your medical team to bring you safely out of the doldrums and back into a sense of calm and wholeness within.
'Bad Birth' Experience
It is a sad fact that within our current maternity services some women may have what they deem to be a 'bad' experience. In fact the estimates are as high as 35-40% of women who feel that their labour was less than they anticipated or hoped for.
There are many reasons for this; reasons that are of concern to many practitioners within obstetric care, and there are constant and ongoing challenges within NHS provision to improve women's experience of maternity care.
Jani's training, with midwives, with Doula UK, with her teachers Michel Odent and Sheila Kitzinger, and with the 10 years she spent in a private obstetrician's office, not to mention 2 decades of birth attendance as a doula, has given her a wide ranging understanding of how women may suffer residual feelings of angst about their labour experience.
Jani has spent 12 years working for the Birth Crisis Network, taking calls from all over the country, supporting women with a listening ear. She has a compassionate understanding of how women can be negatively impacted by a traumatic spiral of events, and understands well how to help you to unwind your story and find the resolutions to help you recover from the emotional impacts of this kind of stress.
Acupuncture has a profound effect on the nervous systems and Jani is adept at helping to resolve the way that shock and trauma can lodge in out hearts and mind as well as in our bodies.
The post natal phase is a time of great shifts and changes. If you are struggling with difficult emotions relating to your labour experience - anger, grief, fear, guilt - feeling uncertain, lacking confidence, or feeling concerned about bonding with your baby, Jani offers a safe and confidential space for you to tell your story and to find the steps forward to resolving these difficult emotions.
Somehow, within our Western approach to postnatal care we have condensed the total recovery process down to just these initial 6 weeks.
Here at Acuhouse we believe a realistic recovery time is fully 12 weeks. We work with you in labour preparation to embrace an understanding of the importance of an extended time of recovery that allows you to fully replenish.
Unfortunately, within the current culture of ‘cuts’, post partum support services within the NHS have been drastically reduced. The first weeks can be very daunting, and for many women the first time they will reconnect with their NHS support is at the regular 6 week check up.
The downside is that it is precisely within these early days when we often need the most support. If you feel you are struggling please do not hesitate to connect with your midwifery group and ask for help.
AcuHouse has an extensive nertwork of birth support practitioners and we are happy to help recommend you to any support you may need.
Our aim at Acuhouse is to be available as part of your support team. We are available for home visits in the first 40 days.