The Benefit of Postpartum Acupuncture

A woman's body undergoes many transformations during the nine months of pregnancy. Some of these physical changes are visible, such as an expanding belly and weight gain, while others are well known, such as an enlarged uterus, morning sickness and backaches. From TCM point of view, as pregnancy and childbirth deplete Blood and Qi from the mother’s body, women are said to be at their most vulnerable at this time.

Hence, during the confinement period, it is recommended to restore your general health. Prevention is better than cure, the practice of confinement aims not only to improve the mom’s recovery but minimise the occurrence of Postpartum disease. Postpartum acupuncture and massage can assist with recovery after childbirth for new mums.


The Benefit of Postpartum Acupuncture


1. Help Uterine Involution

During pregnancy, the lining of the uterus thickens and its blood vessels enlarge to provide nourishment to the foetus. As pregnancy progresses, the uterus expands to make room for the growing foetus. By the time the baby is born, the uterus will have expanded to many times its normal size.

By reducing postpartum blood loss and lochia duration and promoting uterine contraction, acupuncture can benefit uterine involution after delivery.


Effective acupuncture point:

  • Sanyinjiao 三阴交穴 (SP 6)

  • Hegu 合谷 (LI 4)

  • Qihai 气海 (CV 6)

  • Guanyuan 关元 (CV4)


2. Relieve afterpains

The mother’s body consumes lots of kidney Yin energy and liver blood energy to grow a foetus. Following that, the blood loss during childbirth further depletes blood and qi from the mother’s body. The women’s body constitution tends to become Qi and Blood deficiency or Blood stasis type, which is vulnerable to cold and wind pathology. This leads to limb pain and numbness, joint pain and heavy sensation in the limbs and body.

Confinement acupuncture can dredge the meridian, reduce tissues’ oedema, relax the excessively tense muscle, and induce the brain and body to produce endorphins, which are natural analgesics to relieve pain.


Effective acupuncture point:

  • Guanyuan 关元 (CV 4)

  • Qihai 气海 (CV 6)

  • Jiache 颊车 (ST 36)


3. Boost milk production 帮助产后催奶

Childbirth brings great changes to the reproductive organs and the entire body. The functions of the meridians and viscera are easily maladjusted during pregnancy. Deficiency of qi and blood or stagnation of liver qi may lead to insufficient milk production or obstruction of breast milk. In order to ensure sufficient breast milk production, which is vital to the baby’s healthy growth and the mother, it is important to do some treatment after delivery.

Acupuncture can increase breast milk production and prolactin secretion(a hormone that stimulates milk production) levels to lactating mothers.

Effective acupuncture point:

  • Shanzhong 膻中 (CV 17)

  • Zusanli 足三里 (ST 36)

  • Shaoze 少泽 (SI 1)

4. Prevent and treat urinary problems

Urinary problems are common and frustrating in women during the immediate postpartum period. There are physiologic changes in the bladder that occurs during pregnancy and it leads to urinary problems after delivery. What’s more, labour depletes the mother’s Qi, especially if it has been long and drawn out. The spleen will be affected and will be unable to raise the Qi sufficiency, resulting in the sinking of the bladder Qi. This will cause continuous flow, incontinence, and urinary retention.

Acupuncture is a widely accepted modality of treatment to prevent and treat urinary problems after delivery. It is quite effective for addressing and is free from side-effects and complications.


Effective acupuncture point:

  • Zhongji 中极 (CV 3)

  • Shanjiaoshu 三焦俞 (BL 22)

  • Bladder Shu (BL 28)

  • Jin Men 金门 (BL 63)


5. Promote the recovery of body shape

Many pregnant women eat and drink to their content during pregnancy. After giving birth, the weight increases, waist circumference increases, and the body shape changes.

Postpartum acupuncture can promote the tension of abdominal wall and pelvic floor muscle and the elasticity of the skin of the abdomen, buttocks, and legs, reduce the accumulation of fat, increase the elasticity of the breast ligaments, and prevent breast sagging. At the same time, breastfeeding can help the mother to release too much heat energy in the body, which is beneficial for weight loss.


Effective acupuncture point:

  • Tianshu 天枢 (ST 25)

  • Daimai 带脉 (GB 26)

  • Zhongwan 中脘 (CV 12)

  • Xiehai 血海 (SP 10)

  • Futu 伏兔 (ST 32)

  • Chengfu 承扶 (BL 35)

  • Fengshi 风市 (GB 31)

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