When I tell people what I do, I find they ask lots about acupuncture in labor. It’s probably hard to imagine if you have never been to a labor!
“How do women lie still?” is usually the first question they ask.
Well...they don’t. Usually we work around the positions they find comfortable, which can include standing, being on all fours, sitting on a birth ball...
The next question they usually ask is, “Does the acupuncture help with pain?” Hmmm... I find this question hard. Not exactly. Acupuncture can be used for many many things in labor, but I hesitate to say it stops pain. I never want a woman to think that when I walk in the room I will be providing anything resembling an epidural, because it is not like that at all. Acupuncture helps women cope better. As my dear partner Renee says, “There is a difference between pain and suffering.” I think this is where the relief of acupuncture lies.
Take this story as an example. I once was called on to a labor where the mom had been in labor for 24 hours, and she was stuck at the starting gate--just 3-4 centimetres dilated. Her ability to cope was waning, and a change needed to happen. I did some acupuncture to help her cope and to help things progress. Within 20 minutes, everyone in the room could feel the shift. A calmness had returned...but the mom wasn’t so convinced. I removed the needles and stayed to observe. She got herself into the birthing tub, but her coping was again starting to wane. I did the same acupuncture points, and again calmness returned to the room.
This time the mom looked at me and said, “I think it’s working!” And it was--she had her baby 3 hours later.
To learn more about how accupuncture can help you enjoy a comfortable pregnancy, easy birth and quick recovery visit Accumamas.
By Dr. Shannon Larson
Shannon studied at the International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Vancouver where she completed a 5 year doctorate program and is a Registered Doctor of Chinese Medicine. Her studies include clinical practice in Taiwan at the China Medical University and Hospital and she also completed the 2 year Graduate Mentorship Program in Chinese Medicine through the White Pine Institute.
While Shannon’s interest in Chinese Medicine is wide ranging, her passion lies in women’s health which has led her to pursue training in workshops by some of the world’s leaders in Chinese Medicine for fertility and obstetrics including Sharon Weizenbaum, Bob Flaws, Debra Betts and Jane Lyttleton. As a birth doula, Shannon is inspired by the strength and innate wisdom of the female body as she brings a new life into this world. “It is during this transformative time I feel truly honoured to be present and offer support.”