Mother Warming – Keep Your Postpartum Recovery on Track with Moxibustion!
The process of mother warming was designed as a postpartum treatment to aid the recovery and re-energization of postpartum mothers. Specifically, it is a technique that employs Moxa, a powerful herb that is used to stimulate acupuncture points and warm the body through what is known as moxibustion. This is a recovery process, brought forth through traditional Chinese medicine. For centuries, it has been used to replenish the Qi (energy) inside the body, in addition to the blood that was lost throughout pregnancy and during childbirth.
New mothers will often find postpartum recovery difficult. Besides loss of blood and energy, childbirth coincides with a mother’s internal discomfort and drained overall health. In the process of moxibustion, moxa sticks are used to apply heat and enhance the healing process in the body. Moxa sticks are an easy-to-use way to restore lost health during postpartum, thus speeding up recovery.
Moxibustion’s Wide Range of Uses
The use of moxa in the form of moxibustion in mother warming is an ancient practice that has been widely studied. There are many different reasons to go through the postpartum treatment other than general recovery.
1. Vaginal Discharge & Perineum Pain
Bleeding from the vagina can happen for up to 6 weeks after childbirth. It will likely include small clots at first, then the bleeding will become less and the discharge will slowly turn from red to white. The use of moxa can be effective in restoring the blood lost during discharge, which will decrease the time it takes for postpartum discharge to fully halt.
The perineum, or tissue between the vaginal opening and anus, is made to stretch. However, the intense pressure applied by the baby’s head and shoulder to the vaginal opening can still cause the perineum to swell and even tear. At a minimum, the area will feel tender after childbirth, but it isn’t unusual to experience high levels of pain. Mother warming has been found to provide levels of comfort to the perineum during postpartum, as it soothes the skin and boosts blood circulation.
2. Uterine Shrinkage
Throughout the pregnancy, the uterus will have expanded to accommodate the growing baby inside. The uterus will begin to shrink on its own immediately after childbirth. It isn’t uncommon for mothers to physically feel the uterus shrinking during the first 48 hours after birth.
While it does shrink on its own, most doctors will suggest a number of things to help speed up the healing process. One of the most effective methods is mother warming. The process of moxibustion is designed to prevent cold from entering the uterus and helps to strengthen blood vessels that have been since cut off from the placenta. This is extremely important as it closes off the bleeding that could have turned into Postpartum Hemorrhage, a life-threatening condition. The validity of moxibustion as a treatment was proven during a study in 2010 where 174 pregnancy cases were randomly divided into control groups. It was found that using moxibustion at Sanyinjiao (SP 6) was 69.5% effective at labor analgesia (relief of pain) in the observation group. On the other side of things, the same statistic for the placebo treated group was only 43.1% effective at labor analgesia. The evidence proved conclusive in that moxibustion can relieve uterine contraction pain without having any side effect to the mother or infant.
3. Urinary Incontinence
It is not uncommon for women to experience involuntary urination during and after pregnancy. The factors that contribute to this are many, including genetics, lifestyle habits, and BMI. However, the process of the baby weighing on the uterus during pregnancy and passing through the birth canal during childbirth can also lead to urinary incontinence.
A similar acupuncture medical study to the one mentioned above was conducted to calculate the effects of moxibustion on urinary incontinence. Sixty patients were divided into two groups, a control group (placebo), and observation group (moxibustion). After 6 weeks of treatment, the cure rate of urinary incontinence was found to be 70.0% for the observation group, compared to only 33.33% for the control group. The study undoubtedly proved that moxibustion can improve the urinary control ability of postpartum patients.
While there are a number of supplemental formulas available today, breastfeeding still remains an important method by which newborn babies attain essential nutrients. Breastfeeding boosts the baby’s immune system and protects against disease, allergies, and infections.
After pregnancy, a woman can be left with a deficiency in what Chinese medical experts refer to as Jin Ye, or Xue, which can inhibit her ability to breastfeed. However, it is reported by PubMed Central, that just a single session of moxibustion can be enough to activate milk production. This comes to fruition from the recovery of the woman’s Qi and Jing.
5. Postpartum Depression
The overall decrease in energy levels can cause severe postpartum depression. This comes from dramatic changes in hormones, sleep deprivation and normal anxiety.
The can be incredibly soothing to both physical and emotion health by nature of the warmth in the treatment. At a fundamental level, it improves circulation, relieves pain, and boosts the energy levels that caused the depression in the first place. When treated in a timely manner after childbirth, mother warming has actually been proven to prevent postpartum depression all together.
When and How Should Mother Warming be Carried Out?
Mother Warming is a recovery treatment that can be carried out within the comfort of the patient’s home. It is advised the treatment be given four to five days postpartum for maximum effect. Chinese medical experts recommend the process to be completed by a chosen support person of the mother that has had previous acupuncture experience.
One treatment is usually the recommended amount for general relief. However, those struggling with urinary incontinence will find higher levels of comfort and recovery from up to six weeks of treatment.
The treatment of mother warming, or process of moxibustion is undoubtedly effective. This has been proven through various medical studies and over 4,000 years of practice by Chinese medical practitioners. What is referred to as replenishing Qi, helps to restore energy levels and blood loss during pregnancy and childbirth. This helps to improve the immune system, tonify the uterus, aid in urinary incontinence, and even increase fertility. Mother warming has and will continue to be incredibly relieving and comforting to postpartum mothers experiencing a wide range of symptoms.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.