Our Pregnancy Treatments
Threatened Miscarriage or IUGR
Treatment for threatened miscarriage often happens during the first trimester. This would be for women who have had prior miscarriages and want additional support; or women who are spotting early on in pregnancy. The acupuncture and moxibustion treatments are most useful for patients presenting with patterns of deficiency — for example, the Qi-deficient presentation may include some or all of the following: difficulty moving around, easily tired, inguinal pain early in pregnancy, digestive upset, loose stools.
Herbal treatment can also be helpful for those with possible intrauterine growth restriction, which is more commonly seen in the early part of the third trimester.
Morning sickness is not something that stops at noon. Most pregnant women come in either because they are already starting to feel nauseous, or because they are vomiting more frequently and do not want to go in for an IV-drip. At the clinic, we provide treatment using acupuncture and may also layer in some visceral manipulation if necessary. We have seen moderate to good results, especially for the dizziness that comes with the nausea. Patients who want to come in for acupuncture are encouraged to book in for the initial session, then monitor her response to the session.
Water Retention in Pregnancy
Water retention, or edema, can develop in the lower extremities of pregnant women during the early third trimester. Some women have a tendency to accumulate fluids in the their upper extremities also.
Patients often come for acupuncture, which helps to treat the edema in a systemic way. One of the important points used help stimulate the lymphatic bottle neck in the inner side of the calves. However, some patients respond well to the hands-on precision of our Lymphatic Drainage Therapist, who will figure out the exact site of congestion and clear them, as well as provide useful self-care techniques.
Sciatica in Pregnancy
Sciatic can be so painful during pregnancy it keeps you from doing even the most basic of things. Treatment with more aggressive methods is usually contraindicated, and here is where acupuncture is very useful.
Acupuncture is especially effective for pain relief. We do have to be careful exactly which points are chosen, especially for women presenting with sciatica during pregnancy, and see reasonably good results after treatment.
Treatment with acupuncture is most helpful when the pain starts appearing, and not when the pain has gotten too severe.
Breech & Posteriors
Acupuncture and moxibustion is more effective than observation in revolving breech fetuses. If you know you have a breech or posterior, it is best to start treatment early around week 33-34, and not to wait till past week 36. After your first session, you will be given ‘homework’ to do on your own, as well as a ‘take-home’ pack of smokeless moxa sticks.
Pregnancy Itch and PUPPP
Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPP) is an itchy, bumpy rash that starts in the abdomen during the third trimester, and often resolves within weeks of delivery. Most women coming for treatment either do not want to use topical steroids, or have not seen sufficient improvement with the use of steroids and antihistamines.
As a clinic which also sees skin conditions, we have found acupuncture to be useful and are confident it can provide some level of relief if you do happen to be suffering from PUPPP.
Prepare for Birth
Research by Rabl (2001) showed that acupuncture shortened duration from due date to delivery by almost 3 days. 4 out of 45 women were delivered within 24 hours of their first acupuncture treatment, while no women in the control group delivered within 24 hours of their first examination. In the end, only 20% in the acupuncture group was medically induced, compared to 35% in the control group.
Research by Zeister et a (1998) concluded that one positive effect acupuncture had was in shortening the first stage of labor. In the study, the acupuncture group had a median duration of 196 minutes compared to 321 minutes in the control group.
Consider two sessions of pre-birth acupuncture after the 36th week to facilitate ease in the imminent birth journey.
While it is preferable not to force an otherwise natural process, induction is worth considering especially for post-dates, premature rupture of membranes (PROM) or if a medical induction or cesarian has already been planned, e.g. in the case of placental insufficiency. We have reasonably happy outcomes using a mix of herbs and acupuncture especially if given at least a week to work with you.
Our Postpartum Treatments
“Mother Roasting” is the perfect treatment for a post-partum mum also undergoing confinement and post-natal massage. This treatment is a combination of soft-tissue manipulation, cupping, heat and acupuncture, with a strong focus on using fire cups to stretch the entire sheet that runs from the tip of your shoulders to the buttocks and hips. “Mother Roasting” also promotes circulation and warms up the body in a very relaxing manner.
Our “Breast Milk” treatments are for young mums going through a phase of insufficient milk production, aka hypogalactorrhea. Most of our clients come recommended after all else has been tried by the doulas or midwives. The results vary from person to person but we do get respectable results using a mix of methods, which focus on opening up soft tissue restrictions while stimulating neuro-endocrine pathways.
Neck & Back
“Neck & Back” is the perfect treatment for a postpartum mum also undergoing confinement and post-natal massage. During this time, because of a habit of hunching over, the upper and mid trapezius are often tight and locked long. In addition, the area between the shoulder blade can be extremely tight. This treatment is made up of any of the following: soft-tissue manipulation, cupping, heat and acupuncture. The purpose of the treatment is to bring your body back into balance as your soft tissue, your hormones and your mind shift into another state.
Neck to Arms
The “Neck to Arms” treatment is another unique offering for weary mums hunched over from too much breastfeeding or baby lifting. The treatment focuses on the typical Upper Crossed Syndrome faced by new mums, and may also include either prevention or treatment of De Quevain’s tenosynovitis (that very tendon that gets strained from carrying babies!). It is a perfect complement to the Neck & treatment.
The “Neck-to-Arm Protocol” is a treat not just for weary mums, and is useful for most people tight from the front of the neck to the upper chest to inner forearms.
PPD is often insidious and tied up not just with hormonal changes but also the altered relational situation the mother is in. It could the dynamic with her life life partner after first-born is welcome into the family. It could be the additional stress of managing three instead of two children. It could the feeling of isolation that emerges in a way you would never have expected it to. It could also come from the discombobulation that comes from the sudden shift from a high-powered professional career into a full-time care-giver role.
How we can help here is through body-centered support of acupuncture as well as other touch-based therapies that support a mother though this difficult time.
Postpartum Modification of Confinement Protocols
Confinement is a dietary regimen that many women in Singapore go through. The tradition of confinement is not restricted to traditional Chinese healing traditions, but also have a strong presence in Indian, Indonesian and other long-standing traditions.
The patient would have already engaged a nanny to help out with confinement cooking, or purchased a meal plan with one of many organizations in Singapore that provide this service. How we can help is, through consultation, to help the patient modify the confinement regimen to fit her body type. For regimes heavy in longan, danggui and ginger, it is not necessary to use confinement food to the point of falling ill from a sore throat. On the other hand, some meal plans do not tonify the patient enough, and the patient can benefit from dosage changes or additional tonic formulations from the herbal pharmacy proper.