Treating Postpartum Changes with Acupuncture 

By Dr. Dongfeng Zhou Ap, DAOM


Most couples look forward to having their babies after tying the knot. The moment that dream comes true, they are on cloud nine. As a woman, you will bear the brunt of what comes after successful childbirth. You see, during the first weeks after child delivery, your body starts healing. Still, it adjusts to freedom from carrying a baby in the womb. Additionally, you start bonding with your new bundle of joy (baby) and that will see you make plans on how to carry him or her about. The period comes with a rollercoaster of physical, emotional and behavioral changes. This period is known as postpartum. During this period, your body undergoes certain changes; the changes tend to differ from one woman to another. This article is focusing on treating postpartum changes with acupuncture.

As a first-time mother, this is a lifestyle you weren’t used to. Because many mothers find these postpartum changes challenging to live with, this article explains them in detail and how to use acupuncture to expedite the recovery process. So, keep reading to learn more.

Postpartum Changes You Should Expect

Some days after successful delivery, you will notice that you are tired for several days. In short, this experience will continue for 4 to 6 weeks. If you underwent a caesarean section, it would be much longer. Other common changes are discussed below:

  1. Hormonal changes: Moments after successful delivery, you will experience hormonal changes. First, a desire to bond with your little one – thanks to the release of bonding hormone (oxytocine). When oxytocine increases, other hormones spike. While oxytocine may rise, that is not the case with progesterone as it tends to diminish after childbirth. The reason is that your body uses plenty of it at the time. Keep in mind that progesterone helps reduce your anxiety. Thyroid gland is another hormone that childbirth affects. The American Thyroid Association says that 5-10% of women of childbearing ages have postpartum thyroiditis, an inflammation of thyroid gland that happens following baby delivery.
  2. Postpartum depression: In some women, postpartum depression (PPD) starts, lasting for about 6-8 weeks. Its symptoms include hallucination, delusions, manic mood, etc. This depression sets in due to a mix of physical, emotional and behavioral changes. 10% of women struggle with the condition around the world. More severe case of PPD is known as postpartum psychosis.
  3. Fuller breasts: Also, those brassieres you bought during pregnancy have suddenly become too small for you! While this is not the case for all women, a significant percentage reported to have experienced it after delivery. This is usually due to the drop of estrogen and progesterone levels. On the other hand, prolactin, the hormone that helps you produce breastmilk, fully gets to work. The outcome is that your breasts are bigger than they usually are. This is a result of increased milk and blood flow to them.
  4. Uterus changes: Furthermore, you will experience after-pains, a menstrual cramp-like sensation that lasts for 2-3 days. About six weeks later, your uterus contracts, returning to its original size. If you had a vaginal delivery, your crotch will be bruised and swollen. Don’t sweat it because you will get better in the coming weeks when you get plenty of rest and painkillers.
  5. Constipation and irregular pee: At this point in your life, you are likely to have postpartum constipation. It is common among women who just put to bed and often comes one week after delivery. Health experts say that women experience postpartum constipation because of fear of pushing things out of their body, dehydration, and pains. In a similar vein, some women notice that they pee on their body moments after sneezing, laughing or exercising. The reason is that their pelvic floor (muscles, nerves, ligaments and tissues that support the uterus, rectum and vagina) need some attention.
  6. Hair loss: You will also notice that you are increasingly losing your hair. Note that high hormone levels during pregnancy always causes your hair to grow faster than normal during your nine months of pregnancy. But then, the level drops the moment you have successfully delivered your adorable baby. This means that your hair will start a new phase of growth.

Acupuncture Can Help You

From the foregoing, new mothers experience loads of body changes after childbirth. While most of those changes are probably going to disappear over time, what if they do not? Well,  treating postpartum changes with acupuncture helps you to facilitate the recovery process for different reasons:

  • Rejuvenate from the delivery process: Remember, the Chinese remedy helps to balance up the flow of Qi in your body, thereby returning your body to what it used to be before conception. The American College of Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women take at least six weeks maternity leave after childbirth. During the leave, you should go for acupuncture session to create the balance you need to return to work. You can also combine acupuncture with moxa, food therapy, and Chinese herbs
  • Promotes relaxation and stress reduction: One of the things acupuncture does for a new mother is to help her relax. Since you just had your baby, your nervous system is on high alert. So, what the ancient treatment does is to ensure that you are less anxious and stressed. This is a must-try!
  • Helps your body balance: Some women grapple with anxiety and depression after successful delivery. Do you fall into that category? If so, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. All you have to do is contact a certified acupuncturist to help you treat the condition. The specialist will identify the root causes of the health problem and walk you through steps to overcome them. Years of studies have shown that the traditional treatment can treat anxiety and depression.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, childbirth comes with lots of changes. Nevertheless, these changes differ from one woman to another. In short, some women reported that they became more susceptible to cavity and gum problems after childbirth. Others gain weight, starting from their legs that became a lot bigger. Some new mothers have complained of stretch marks, varicose veins and spider veins – all thanks to pregnancy weight gain.

Remember, acupuncture practitioners believe that people become ill when there is interruption to the flow of Qi (energy) in the body. This means that the moment a certified acupuncturist treats you, your body returns to normalcy. Yes, no matter the postpartum changes you are currently going through, the traditional therapy can help you. Treating postpartum changes with acupuncture helps you to facilitate the recovery. At Zhou Wellness Center, we are ready to help you get back on your feet again. So, contact us now!


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