The Childbearing Journey with Emma Lee: The 1st Trimester, pt 2

February 19th, 2016 by

Traditional Chinese Medicine and our Childbearing Journey: The Trimester, Part 2

For women and men alike

Licensed acupuncturist and herbalist Emma Lee will be following this journey through preconception to postpartum and everything in between. The first 3 months will focus on preconception time, then 2 months for each of the three trimesters, followed by 3 months for postpartum. We will focus on common problems and how Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, and Western Herbal Medicine may help.

Lavigne2013-5475

Our Childbearing Journey: The First Trimester, part 2

As excited as you may or may not be, if you are the pregnant one your breasts might be super sore. Beyond your run of the mill PMS tenderness, just the feeling of cloth against your nipples may be enough to make you cower in pain. This is just a sign of strong hormonal stimulus. There is an acupuncture point, called Small Intestine 1, that has nothing to do with your small intestine, but instead with breast pain or tenderness. It is located on the outer (not towards your thumb) edge of your pinky finger nail. Needling this point can allay this uncomfortable sensation, and is also helpful in other breast maladies such as mastitis. Which may not be too far around the corner! More on that later.

More importantly, emotions may be running wild. A Personal Antidote: when newly pregnant with my first child, I cried for it seemed like days on end about the cessation of the fun part of my life, including so I thought camping, sex, drinking, and traveling. For the record now with two young children I have successfully maintained all of those pleasures except for traveling to foreign countries, so do not despair if this affliction visits you. Belize will always be there!

Seriously though, this period of time can be an intense emotional roller coaster. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that the Qi associated with your liver is sensitive to hormonal transitions (though the actual term “hormones” isn’t a part of official TCM theory, the menstrual cycle, depression, and anxiety certainly is.)

Receiving acupuncture during the first trimester can alleviate feelings of confusion, anxiety, depression, and general freaking out by calming your spirit and moving your liver Qi. If this is your first pregnancy, remember that it can feel like a foreign experience having another living being inhabiting your body. Allow yourself lots of room to adjust to this. Soon it may feel normal!

The un-pregnant yet heavily involved partner may be feeling left out, ignored, confused, and newly burdened. I forgot the positive feelings! Elated, overjoyed, and blessed. Your support in this time is invaluable and will never be forgotten by fetus or mother. Begin the journey of self sacrifice whole heartedly and seek support often from others, it does take a village to raise a child, from the very beginning.

There may be many things to discuss such as how this baby might affect your lifestyle and your relationship to each other and your families. You will also need to start making some pretty important decisions together such as home birth or hospital, midwifery or hospital/ medical OBGYN care, and whether or not you will follow the modern standard of prenatal ultrasounds and testing or go the old fashioned route. I recommend talking to everyone you know with children and hear their experiences, and trust your gut. If you have undergone a lot of fertility treatments you may be directly funneled into a more rigid modern medical standard of care, and that’s ok too. Remember all that really matters is that you have a healthy baby and a healthy mom at the end of the day. Or the longest 72 hours of your lives. Don’t think about that.

Next month we will discuss the common maladies of the second trimester. These include not fitting into any of your old clothes, and still throwing up even though everyone says you’re supposed to feel great by now. We will also discuss how best to support your body and your baby during this time with herbal medicine, nutrition, and lifestyle choices.

If you are just catching up with the series now, check these out:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

If you are on a childbearing journey and are interested in personalized support, book online with Emma!


Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.