Community Acupuncture After Childbirth

by Stef Cordes and Lisa Baird

The body goes through huge changes following the birth of a baby. We generally see new parents less often once the baby is born (turns out, a new baby is a big time commitment), but when they do come in their challenges often include postpartum depression as well as digestive issues, inconsistent milk supply and exhaustion. Acupuncture can help with all of these things.

Postpartum depression is caused by the extreme emotional and chemical changes during and after childbirth; it is not a character flaw. We are not counselors and we encourage people with postpartum depression to seek medical care. That being said, acupuncture can be a valuable adjunct therapy for someone struggling with intense lows following childbirth. People get relief from mood-related complaints every day in our clinic. With acupuncture treatment, the body’s natural hormone balance may be regained in a much shorter amount of time while also providing some immediate relief in our recliners.

Constipation after giving birth is a common complaint, due to the slowdown of the digestive system and temporary loss of abdominal muscle tone, medications given for postpartum pain, anesthesia given during labour, or just a fear of pushing because of postpartum tenderness or concern about tearing a stitch. Acupuncture can be very effective for gently getting the bowels moving again.

Struggles with milk supply is another common postpartum complaint that can cause intense stress and anxiety. We’ve seen acupuncture work to support lactation, as well as reduce the stress which can interfere with milk supply.

Exhaustion affects most new parents. We can’t make your baby sleep through the night (we would if we could!) but many people (ourselves included) find the quality of rest in the treatment room to be incredibly rejuvenating. We often joke about the acupuncture time-warp: how 45 minutes goes by in a flash, but then you feel as if you’d slept for three hours.

If you have questions about how acupuncture can support you, please get in touch.

A row of three people reclining in lazyboys, covered with red blankets, with a practitioner seated on a stool glancing down at an acupuncture needle in her hand.
photo by Vanessa Tignanelli

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