Blog

Pregnancy – Birth – Breastfeeding

Book online

Do you dream of giving your baby a calm and gentle welcome to the world? At Acupuncture Nest we provide the relaxation you need to help you birth your best.

What is Acupuncture Nest all about?
At Acupuncture Nest we understand what is needed to allow a natural, physiological birth to unfold and it is our dream that you will know the wonder of this experience. You will receive relaxing acupuncture treatments and clear, well researched guidance to set you on your journey to your best birth. It is a journey and it takes time, so book to see us early in your pregnancy.

“One of the most important things I have learned about birthing babies is that the process is more of an unfolding marvel than a routine progression of events.” -Tori Kropp R.N., Author of The Joy of Pregnancy

We use acupuncture to foster physiological birth by treating fear, stress and anxiety. This is possible because acupuncture is known to influence the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and its functions. This is so significant because it is the primary system used by the body to regulate hormones, the physiological stress response1 and natural, physiological birth.

Read on to learn more about how Acupuncture Nest can help to make your journey through pregnancy, birth and parenthood a wonderful one.

Is Acupuncture Nest only for pregnant women?
No. Although created specially for pregnant women (and their partners and midwives), Acupuncture Nest is open to everyone. We particularly encourage new mothers to book in for restorative treatments. We treat pain, stress, digestion, low energy etc.

What can I expect from the clinic?
Our cosy clinic is set up comfortably with massage tables and cushions, and treatments are given in a physically distanced group setting. Our practitioners are experienced and AHPRA registered. At $35 our service is a fraction of the cost of private room practices.

Is it safe to use acupuncture during pregnancy, and what can it treat?
In the hands of a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is a safe, drug-free therapy with recognised therapeutic effects in many of the common conditions experienced by pregnant women. These include headaches, insomnia, nausea, sinus congestion, back pain, sciatica,2 restless-leg syndrome and constipation.3

Do you treat morning sickness?
We can certainly treat nausea, but unfortunately we are not an appropriate setting in which to treat morning sickness that includes moderate or severe vomiting. For these symptoms we recommend you seek private treatments.

Can you help me to turn my baby? (32-36 weeks)
In weeks 32-36, acupuncture, moxa and specific postures 4 can be used to prompt your baby to spontaneously turn and settle in a cephalic presentation. The targeted use of moxa (a traditional companion to acupuncture) has been found to result in babies turning 75.4-81% of the time compared to 47.7-49% of the time when moxa was not used.5, 6 Employing these strategies is highly recommended, because having your baby in the most favourable position for birth is a primary consideration in creating a smooth labour experience.

Moxa sticks can be purchased at Acupuncture Nest, and you will receive instructions on how to perform the moxa procedure to best affect at home. Your partner or support person can also come along to learn about using moxa since it can be tricky to manage with your bountiful belly in the way.

What is pre-birth acupuncture? (37-40+ weeks)
One treatment per week from 37 weeks is recommended by renowned nurse/acupuncturist Debra Betts for assisting cervical ripening and for helping expectant mothers to stay calm and rested.7 We recommend this course of treatments, too, and it is known as pre-birth acupuncture. If an induction date approaches or due date passes, similar treatments can be given more frequently to reinforce their effect. (This is referred to as acupuncture-induction.)

How does acupuncture help women after childbirth?
After your baby is born, acupuncture is used to help you recover physically and, if needed, to help you with anxiety or overwhelm, all while improving your energy levels.

How does acupuncture help with breastfeeding?
Initial difficulties with breastfeeding are often associated with medical interventions during childbirth which is why we do all we can to promote natural, physiological birth with acupuncture during your pregnancy.

Low milk supply can occur over time as sleep deprivation runs down your energy reserves. Inhibition of let-down may appear if your stress hormones rise and has the potential to result in infection (mastitis). Acupuncture is used to restore your health, improve your energy and milk production and facilitate let-down (by lowering your stress hormones and regulating the flow of energy through the body and specifically the breasts). In fact, there are actually specific acupuncture points for lactation! Acupuncture is used in conjunction with standard treatments for mastitis.

Acupuncture for Midwives
It takes a village….Midwives care for mothers and babies all hours of the day and night, on occasion getting themselves into less than organic positions to offer a birthing mother support. Sometimes it is the carer who needs a dose of TLC, and at Acupuncture Nest, we are delighted to be offering much needed rest, relaxation and restoration to these remarkable, important individuals.

Making acupuncture affordable
Acupuncture in a group setting is a wonderful way to keep it affordable while still tailoring treatments to each patient’s individual needs. Practitioners must be registered by AHPRA ensuring safe, quality treatments and the room maintains a pleasing sense of calm and community.

COVID-19
Acupuncture Nest is committed to following NSW Health directives to mitigate the risks associated with Covid-19. For the foreseeable future, the practitioner will wear a mask, and patients may choose to wear one, also.

Book online


1 Cho ZH, Hwang SC, Wong EK, et al. Neural substrates, experimental evidences and functional hypothesis of acupuncture mechanisms. Acta Neurol Scand 2006;113:370–7. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0404.2006.00600.x

2 https://holistic-health.org.uk/world-health-organisation-recommends-acupuncture-100-conditions/
3 https://www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org/acupuncture-scientific-evidence/

4 spiningbabies.com.au
5 Cardini F, Weixin H. “Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation”, Journal of the American Medical Association, (1998) 280:1580-1584.
6 Co-operative Research Group on Moxibustion Version . “Clinical observation on the effects of version by moxibustion”. Abstracts from the Second National Symposium on Acupuncture and Moxibustion and Acupuncture Anaesthesia, All China Society of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Beijing, (1984) p150
7 Betts, D. “The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth.” (2006), Chapter 20 Acupuncture as a routine pre-birth treatment, pp139-147

Photo credit: katya_alagich on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Autumn Armour

Time to fortify your immune system.

Sydney’s smokey summer has drawn to a close, fires finally out, in part due to exceptionally heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding. As basements dry out we find ourselves starting Autumn feeling rather soggy and low in vitamin sun. Not the best warm-up for our immune systems in the face of Covid-19.

Now really is the time to fortify your immune-system, and I don’t mean locking yourself in your house with hoarded toilet paper. Here are four things you can do today to scale-up your defences.

SLEEP
Go to bed earlier. It is during sleep that we “recharge”. Turn off your devices and plug yourself in instead.

STRENGTHEN YOUR LUNGS
Activities that promote slower, deeper breaths, such as swimming and Qi Gong, promote the strength and function of the Lungs specifically, and the body generally. This is important, because in Chinese medical theory, Lung function is a major component of Wei Qi production, which could be roughly translated as the immune system’s first line of defence.
Strong Lungs are always essential for resisting communicable diseases, however, SARS-CoV-2 is known to target and damage the Lungs, therefore taking steps to fortify the Lungs, now, is all the more prudent.

Please click on the link below to a tutorial of Qi Gong for the Lungs by renowned Chinese Medical Scholar Peter Deadman.

Qi Gong for the Lungs instructed by Peter Deadman

BATHE IN SUNSHINE
Vitamin D is known to modulate both innate and adaptive immune responses. This is in part due to the associated receptors for Vitamin D being found in various white blood cells [1].

While it is possible to take oral Vitamin D supplements, the primary source of vitamin D is not a nutritional one, rather it synthesised in the skin cells when the skin is exposed to UVB rays in sunlight. Owing to the diminished ozone layer over the sunburnt country, the best time to do this is before 10 am. The more skin you can expose the better, keeping in mind the modesty of your neighbours.

HAVE A ZINC ‘n TONIC
Allow me to get nerdy for a moment. SARS-CoV-2 has been identified as a positive stranded RNA virus. Studies of other corona viruses have demonstrated that “Increased intracellular Zn2+ concentrations are known to efficiently impair replication of a number of RNA viruses, e.g. by interfering with correct proteolytic processing of viral polyproteins.” [2]. In other words, in laboratory experiments, the mechanism that such viruses need to replicate is impaired when cells have abundant zinc.

While it is not reasonable to say that what happens in a petri dish is equivalent to what happens in humans, it may again be prudent to ensure you are getting upwards of your minimum recommended daily intake of zinc. 40mg per day of zinc is seen to be the upper tolerable limit for short-term zinc supplementation [3].

Seafoods, especially oysters, are high in zinc. The next best sources are protein rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and nuts [3]. Fortified breakfast cereals and zinc supplements are also widely available.

At the time of writing, it is not clear to me which form of zinc supplement is most effective, however, a 2014 study found that chloroquine (an antimalarial medicine related to quinine) markedly enhanced zinc uptake by cells [4]. In recent weeks, chloroquine has been used in China and Korea to treat cases of Covid-19. The results, while not yet properly clinically tested, are positive [5].

There is a modicum of quinine in genuine tonic water, so I can’t say that your Z’nT will keep Covid-19 at bay, but if you drank a couple of litres of tonic water per day, maybe more zinc will get into your cells (where it is needed)- otherwise you will need a script for chloroquine.

If performing Qi Gong naked in the morning sun is not for you, you can always book in for an acupuncture treatment.

  1. Drake, V.J., Immunity In Depth, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. August 2010. (Reviewed July 2016 by Gombart, A.F.) [cited March 12, 2020] Available at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/immunity#micronutrients
  2. te Velthuis, A.J.W., van den Worm, S.H.E., Sims, A.C., Baric, R.S., Snijder, E.J., van Hemert, M.J., Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture, PLOS Pathogens, 2010 Nov; 6(11): e1001176. San Francisco, California, USA. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2973827/  
  3. Higdon, J., Zinc, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. Updated February 2019 by Delage, B. [cited March 12, 2020] Available at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/zinc
  4. Wue, J., Moyer, A., Peng, B., Wu, J., Hannafon, B.N., Ding, W-Q., Chloroquine Is a Zinc Ionophore, PLOS Pathogens, 2014; 9(10): e109180. San Francisco, California, USA. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4182877/
  5. Gao, J., Tian, Z., Yang, X., Breakthrough: Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in clinical studies, March 2020 [cited March 12, 2020], International Research and Cooperation Association for Bio & Socio-Sciences Advancement, Japan Science and Technology Agency. Available at: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bst/advpub/0/advpub_2020.01047/_article/-char/ja/

Disclaimer

Acupuncture Syd provides scientific information for the general public on the health aspects of lifestyle factors such as relaxation, rest, mind-set, exercise and diet (including the constituents of foods, beverages and supplements). The information is made available with the understanding that the author and publisher are not providing medical, psychological, or nutritional counselling services on this website. The information should not be used in place of a consultation with a health care professional.

The information on dietary factors and supplements, food, and beverages contained on this website does not cover all possible precautions, side effects, interactions, uses and actions. It is not intended as medical or nutritional advice for individual problems. Liability for individual actions or omissions based upon the contents of this website is expressly disclaimed.