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ADVERTISING: Advertorial — Cesarean section and acupuncture

| December 16, 2020 1:00 AM

The postpartum period is often referred to as the fourth trimester for good reason — it is a crucial period of recovery for the new mom. In acupuncture we are concerned with repairing structure, restoring the flesh and flow, and renewing the spirit.

The disruption to the body is considerable in labor and delivery. This is especially true when there is a cesarean section. When there is a c-section, all the yin energy meridian channels are surgically severed. The uterus is removed from the body, and ligaments are twisted. Blood vessels are cauterized within a freezing cold room. There are stitches in the uterus and at several levels of fascia. Talk about stress to the body!

The first weeks following a c-section are crucial to the healing process. Even with a new baby, mom needs to rest. An external wrap or support can help to reduce the scar-tissue along the surgical site. After the first two weeks is a great time to add acupuncture. The initial treatments will work to warm the damaged energy meridians. The first couple treatments will focus on reviving the cut yin channels by using acupuncture points, so there will not be any needles near the abdomen.

After six weeks, manual or needle scar therapy can start. The scar will be palpated to identify the areas of greatest thickness. The goal of the therapy is to untwist the fascia so it will align better to improve the appearance and energy flow through the scarred area. Healing from tears or episiotomy can also benefit from acupuncture.

You can think of the fourth trimester like winter after the harvest. It is a time of massive energy readjustment. The yin energy is withdrawing and consolidating. The baby is still drawing its life energy from mom, so it is difficult for energy (qi) and blood to rebuild. The baby’s needs are in direct conflict with mom’s need for sleep and rebuilding. Acupuncture can help ease this transition.

Other postpartum issues that can be helped with acupuncture include constipation, hemorrhoids, urinary incontinence, lactation, sleep and “baby blues.” Postpartum depression can be life threatening and should only be treated with acupuncture as a complement to working with a primary care provider.

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For more information, contact Dr. Wendy Cunningham at