pregnancy-and-acupunctureIt’s fairly common knowledge these days that acupuncture is helpful in promoting fertility and pregnancy. But acupuncture is not just helpful for getting pregnant, it has a track record in easing the discomfort of back pain, digestive, urinary and emotional issues that are often not well treated by conventional medicine.

Additionally, acupressure can be of tremendous benefit to a woman in labor, and this kind of support can be provided by a family member or other person assisting during the labor.

Our guest in this show has first hand experience with the use of acupuncture and acupressure as she used these methods herself when pregnant. And she works with students and midwives in a hospital setting helping pregnant women with these safe and effective treatment modalities.

Listen in for some surprising research on how acupuncture during pregnancy can help to prevent postpartum depression, and why it is important for a woman to get several weeks of good rest after giving birth.

Show Highlights:
3:37     How working with midwifes helped to verify the effect of acupuncture
5:20     Those supporting women in labor can easily assist with acupressure
7:17      Helping a woman prepare for labor using acupuncture
13:09    Acupuncture doesn’t just improve fertility, it promotes a healthy pregnancy and is useful in the early stages of pregnancy
15:03    Using acupuncture to treat back pain in the middle stages of pregnancy
16:11     Is it safe to use acupuncture during pregnancy?
22:37   Why acupressure is helpful during labor
27:50   Taking care of yourself after delivery
33:15   Some surprising research on acupuncture and post-partum depression

debra-bettsDebra graduated from the London College of Acupuncture in 1989. With a practice based in women’s health she commenced acupuncture courses for midwives in 1997. This led to publications on the use of acupuncture and acupressure in pregnancy including her 2006 text book “The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth” which has subsequently been translated into German and French. Dr Betts completed her PhD on the use of acupuncture in threatened miscarriage in 2014.

She is currently an Adjunct Fellow at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at the University of Western Sydney and the Director of Postgraduate Programmes for an online Masters course through the New Zealand School Acupuncture.

She also supervisors a hospital maternity acupuncture clinic in New Zealand, has numerous publications in peer reviewed journals and lectures internationally on the use of acupuncture in maternity care. She currently resides with her husband in Wellington, New Zealand.

Links and Resources:
Visit Debra’s website for more information about her work and to download a free copy of her illustrated acupressure booklet for childbirth.

Prefer watching to reading? Here is Debra’s DVD demonstrating Acupressure for Natural Pain Relief in Labour.

In our conversation Debra mentioned a website for helping to get babies into the proper position for childbirth.

It’s common practice in Asia for women to “zuo yue zi,” to take a month and recover their strength and vitality after childbirth. Jenny Allison has created a beautiful book that will help you to better understand this underutilized practice in the West.

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