Acupuncture Support for New Moms (Dads too!)

Traditional Chinese medicine has a very clear and simple prescription for the postpartum period: the new mother should stay in bed for three months.

I was astonished to hear this from my traditionally-trained Chinese herbal professor. And it turns out, that’s literal. A woman who just gave birth is to stay in bed, have her food brought to her, and not even bathe for three months. Others in the family take care of the baby, and bring it the mother for feeding and sleeping.

When I tell this to people in my office, they usually burst out laughing. The contrast between that scene, and what is actually happening, is so stark.  Continue reading

Fertility, Stress, and Acupuncture

It’s a commonly accepted idea that it’s harder to get pregnant when you’re under stress. It does make sense — stress is not known for improving any area of our health.

And, since struggling with fertility is itself stressful — between the waiting, wondering what’s wrong, and dealing with medical appointments and procedures — this can really put people in a bind.

One day, not for the first time, I was listening to a patient talk about how she was trying to manage her stress, but she thought she wasn’t doing a very good job, and she knew this is probably why she wasn’t getting pregnant. Continue reading

Acupuncture For Specific Fertility Issues

Acupuncture and herbs can be enormously helpful in a wide range of fertility challenges — from healthy individuals who want to increase their chances of getting pregnant to women facing a number of more serious diagnoses. I’ve listed a few of the most common conditions I treat: please consult with your acupuncturist about your particular situation.

Unexplained Infertility: This is one of the most common things I see, and one of the most frustrating for the people going through it. The woman’s cycle appears normal, and all the (endless, grueling) testing comes out fine.

In these cases, there are usually imbalances that are relatively minor, but detectable by Chinese medical diagnosis. Continue reading