I was a patient at Acupuncture Healthcare after the birth of my second child. I was experiencing low milk supply after many efforts to prevent it, both pre-nataly and post-nataly. I went to great efforts to boost my supply including; Lactation Consultant visits (pre and post natal), herbs (pre and post natal), relaxation techniques, massage therapy, nutrition, hand expression, pumping, support groups, and most other recommendations I have come across. I had a low supply with my first child and was determined to give my second child only breast milk. I had a wonderful home birth with no complications. I had lots of love and support after birthing and really focused on feeding my baby. Even with all my efforts I was still coming up a little short on fulfilling the babies’ needs. My Lactation Consultant, Barbara Robertson, suggested seeing Monica Leibson at Acupuncture Healthcare. I had had acupuncture in the past, but never committed to consistent sessions. I started seeing Monica every week. After the first session I felt less stressed and had more of an “ok! I can do this!” kind of [Read more…]
Department of Research, Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11220, USA. CCitkovitz@lmcmc.com
The objective of this study was to assess clinical effects and logistical feasibility of acupuncture given during labor and delivery in a U.S. hospital setting.
A case-control pilot study was conducted with 45 parturients receiving acupuncture during labor and delivery alongside standard care. Primary outcome endpoints were incidence of cesarean section, amount of parenteral opioids used, use of epidural anesthesia, and duration of labor. Secondary endpoints included patient satisfaction and nursing staff acceptance as assessed by postpartum questionnaire, maximum flow rate of oxytocin, incidence of instrumental delivery, Apgar score, and incidence of adverse event.
Forty-five (45) patients receiving acupuncture were compared to 127 historical controls matched for maternal age, gestational age, parity, and use of oxytocin (augmentation and induction were matched separately). Acupuncture patients underwent significantly fewer cesarean sections (7% versus 20%, p = 0.004). No significant differences were noted in other clinical endpoints. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of nurses reported a subjective perception of improvement in patients’ comfort with acupuncture, while 83% reported that the acupuncturists’ presence never interfered with their work. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of patients reported that acupuncture had helped them.
Acupuncture during labor and delivery is well tolerated by patients and medical staff. It should be further evaluated for its promise in potentially reducing the incidence of cesarean section.
- [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
- Acupuncture Therapy*
- Analgesia, Obstetrical/methods*
- Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use
- Anesthesia, Epidural/utilization
- Anesthesia, Obstetrical/utilization
- Attitude of Health Personnel
- Case-Control Studies
- Cesarean Section/statistics & numerical data
- Cesarean Section/utilization
- Delivery, Obstetric*
- Infant, Newborn
- Labor, Obstetric*
- Patient Satisfaction
- Pilot Projects
- United States
- Young Adult
Pictures of Acupuncture during Birth
Recently I had the amazing experience of giving birth at home to our beautiful baby boy. I could not have done it without the wonderful people there to support me. One person stands out as having made a major difference throughout the last year and a half. Monica Leibson, Acupuncturist and Doula, was an incredible person to have as part of my team throughout my preconception, pregnancy, labor, and delivery experience. I began seeing Monica for acupuncture because we were not getting pregnant as quickly as I would have liked. Within a few months of seeing her, through her acupuncture treatments and advice on other aspects of my health, we got pregnant!
During my pregnancy Monica continued to treat me with for hyperemesis (excessive vomiting). The first twenty weeks of my pregnancy I was constantly vomiting and one of the very few things that relieved my symptoms were the acupuncture treatments from Monica. Then in the latter part of my pregnancy when I was uncomfortable with general issues like sore feet and back pain, she was able to help relieve those as well.
Acupuncture During Labor
Monica performed acupuncture on me during my labor and it made an incredible difference for me. I remember feeling completely [Read more…]
Hiring a Doula: A Husband’s Perspective
July 5, 2009
BY ED REESE
This guest post was written by my husband Ed Reese and it represents his views and opinions.
I was struck by Cara’s Wright’s comments in last Friday’s blog post about the reservations fathers-to-be have abouthiring a doula. As a husband that had doubts about it myself, I thought I’d share my experience and hope you find it helpful. In my opinion, men’s resistance to hiring a doula comes from three factors.
Money, Privacy, and Control
We don’t like paying extra. We also know childbirth is very expensive. To many fathers-to-be, a doula just isn’t needed. It’s the equivalent of buying the warranty—and we never get the warranty. You want someone to come with us to the hospital on this special day? Someone crashing our private family moment? Someone telling us what to do? Cara is right, many husbands don’t want to pay for that lack of privacy and control.
We hired my wife Tine’s prenatal yoga instructor Katie Louderback as our doula. In addition to being experienced and knowledgable about the childbirth process, she made us feel immediately at ease. I didn’t realize how much time we would actually spend together prior to delivery. I enjoyed taking time to get to know her, ask questions and learn more about what was ahead of us at our own pace.
False Alarms – The Importance of Experience
About a week before Tine’s due date we were at a restaurant with some good friends. Toward the end of the meal Tine started having contractions. As I was prepping the car for a hasty get-a-way to the hospital she called Katie to talk about what she was feeling. Katie quickly determined that it wasn’t time yet. Sure enough, the contractions stopped after about an hour and we were able to spend one last Saturday night playing cards with our friends before Mac was born. Her insight kept us from going to the hospital too soon.
What Do Father’s-To-Be Have To Offer, Anyway?
Here’s what’s crazy to me: we are expected to somehow support you with no real-world experience whatsoever. We don’t have a baseline as to what’s normal. We don’t know what expressions to look for in your face to know it’s go-time. We don’t know what danger signs to look for, either. It’s not realistic to expect us to do much more than hold your hand, offer encouragement, and say we love you. Then again, maybe that is exactly what our role should be and no more. Beyond that, we’ve got zilch, nada, nunca.
Game Day – The Real Importance of Experience and Support
The contractions came early on the morning of the 31st. After timing them and feeling pretty confident that this was in fact D-Day, she called Katie to get consensus. Yep, this sounded legit. So Katie came over and stayed with us for most of the day. It was much more relaxing for both of us with her there. She had assisted with dozens of births and we were confident in her guiding us through it all.
At 3pm Katie looked at Tine and said it was probably time we head to the hospital. Without a doula, we would’ve left hours earlier and likely been turned away, which could’ve stalled her labor. As it was, Tine was only three centimeters dilated when we arrived and they nearly sent us packing. However, Katie talked to the hospital staff and confidently let them know that it was in her best interest to stay. This was the first of many times that Katie stepped up and worked with the hospital staff on our behalf. This was so incredibly valuable!
As I mentioned before, we men have no baseline for normal. A doula does. Without that experience, it would’ve been tough to question a doctor, nurse, or other hospital staff regarding decisions about the delivery. We were able to make several requests (with Katie’s help) that made labor and delivery more comfortable for Tine, and ultimately helped her achieve a natural birth. It also took a huge weight off of my shoulders. I was able to and offer love and support to my wife without worrying about other details because Katie had them covered. I know hiring a doula might be considered “extra,” but I highly recommend taking that step. It’s well worth it.
“I received acupuncture in the weeks leading up to the birth of my second child. Monica’s consideration and understanding of my preferences was such a blessing during that stressful time. Not only was her listening and education an encouragement, my body responded so well to the treatments. This led to a tremendous birth experience, especially compared to my first birthing experience when I was unprepared physically and emotionally. Having the acupuncture sessions with Monica was an essential component of my birth plan and I would not consider another birth experience without her.”
Benefits of Pre-Birth Acupuncture (weekly starting at week 36):
Research has demonstrated that the mean duration of labor in a group of women giving birth for the first time was reduced from 8 hours & 2 minutes in the control group (70 women) to 6 hours and 36 minutes in the group of women (70) who had received pre-birth acupuncture.
Decreases medical intervention:
Data on 169 women was gathered by 14 midwives as part of their midwifery practice inNew Zealand. It found that when comparing all caregivers (midwives, general practitioners, and specialists) to those women who received pre-birth acupuncture there was:
~ An overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions (for women having their 1st baby there was a 43% reduction)
~ A 31% reduction in the epidural rate
~ 32% reduction in cesarean delivery
~ 9% increase in vaginal births
Four weeks before I went into labor (with my second), I visited Monica weekly for acupuncture. My experience of receiving acupuncture in the third trimester of my pregnancy was relaxing, supportive, nourishing and beneficial. For the first time my cervix was finally ripened! It was even starting to open. My first delivery was almost 24 hours and after receiving acupuncture, my second delivery was less than 6 hours. I thank Monica for her wonderful treatments which I believe helped my body to prepare for the birth. Through the use of gentle acupuncture needling and massage, Monica helped me to fully relax and allow my growing body to soften and release tensions. My healthy baby and I are grateful for the care that we received.
– Deirdre S.
Benefits of Pre-Birth Acupuncture (weekly starting at week 36):
Shortens labor: Research has demonstrated that the mean duration of labor in a group of women giving birth for the first time was reduced from 8 hours & 2 minutes in the control group (70 women) to 6 hours and 36 minutes in the group of women (70) who had received pre-birth acupuncture. [Read more…]
The postpartum time can be very challenging, from recovering from your birth to not getting enough sleep to having trouble with breastfeeding. Acupuncture can help. As an acupuncturist and a birth/postpartum doula, I am happy to talk with women about their specific situation and see if acupuncture may be able to support them. I also refer out to International Board Certified Lactation Consultants when appropriate. Please call the office to find out more.
Monica Mae Leibson, Acupuncturist & Birth/Postpartum Doula, Specializing in the childbearing year.
Understanding Breastfeeding and Acupuncture
Acupuncture successfully treats:
- Insufficient Lactation
- Postpartum Depression
- Persistent Uterine Bleeding
Breastfeeding and Acupuncture Research Conclusions
- “Infants whose mothers received Acupuncture weighed 160.13 grams more on average than those whose mothers received Sham Acupuncture. This effect is marginally significant. The finding generally confirms that Acupuncture for the mother is effective in increasing infant weight gain.” (27 mothers)
- “Data suggests that 3 weeks of acupuncture treatment were more effective than observation alone in maintaining breastfeeding until the third month of the newborns’ lives.” (90 mothers)
- “Acupuncture, together with care interventions such as correction of breast feeding position and babies’ attachment to the breast, might be a more expedient and less invasive choice of treatment than the use of medication”. (205 mothers)
Acupuncture & Breastfeeding Research Citations:
- Li, Ke (2003) A Pilot Study to Evaluate the Effect of Acupuncture on Increasing Milk Supply of Lactating Mothers. Coursework Master thesis, Victoria University.
- Acupuncture Research by Adrian White. Published in Acupuncture in Medicine June 2011
- “Acupuncture and Inflammatory Symptoms related to Breastfeeding” Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Helsingborg Hospital and Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Karlstad University in Sweden. [Journal: Midwifery. 2007 Jun;23(2):184-95. Epub 2006 Oct 18.]
Why Hire a Doula?
For a Better Birth Experience!
– By Liza Barnes, Health Educator
Educating yourself about childbirth so you’re able to make informed decisions is a great way to increase your chances for a smooth labor. But you can’t possibly learn everything you might need to know. That’s where a doula comes in. A doula is a trained labor support person who provides emotional, physical, and informational support during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. She (they’re usually women) absolutely doesn’t replace medical caregivers or your birth partner, but rather complements them. There are many ways a doula can assist you, such as:
- helping you prepare your birth plan
- providing suggestions and exercises to help you have a more comfortable pregnancy
- explaining medical procedures
- providing emotional support
- suggesting and providing non-pharmacological pain relief techniques (massage, heat therapy, positioning)
- assisting with breastfeeding
- providing partner support
- working as an advocate so your birth plan is carried out [Read more…]
On Wednesday January 11th, 2011
Meet the Doulas from 6 to 7 pm. Come meet many of the doulas serving the Metro Detroit area as well as our own Monica Mae Leibson, Dipl. Ac.
Meet the Midwives from 7 to 8 pm. Come and learn more about the midwives at the ABC. The focus of the gathering is to talk about their practice and answer questions about the care they provide both in the office and in the hospital. Feel free to bring family members or others interested in learning more about our midwives. A Tour of the ABC and Labor & Delivery is offered afterward. Held in the Fisher Center Auditorium located inside Providence Hospital in Southfield.
Acupuncture during Childbirth
The birth of a child is an opportunity for a unique & transformative experience.
Ways a Birth Doula can assist families
- Support in preparing a birth plan & be an advocate during birth
- Providing emotional support and reassurance
- Supporting partner by role modeling and encouragement
- Explaining medical procedures
- Pain relief techniques such as massage, positioning, breathing, relaxation
- Acupuncture during birth (see benefits below)
Benefits of a Continuous Doula (compiled by Penny Simkin)
A 2003 study describing the experiences of nearly 13,000 women has found that women who receive supportive care from a companion (non-hospital and non-partner) throughout labor are more likely than women without such care to avoid cesarean birth & other major medical interventions, and to be satisfied with their birth experience. These women were:
- 28% less likely to use any analgesia or anesthesia
- 41% less likely to give birth with vacuum extraction or forceps
- 26% less likely to give birth by cesarean
- 33% less likely to be dissatisfied with or negatively rate their birth experience
Acupuncture can help during labor in the following ways:
- Induce labor naturally and ease progression of labor
- Relax and open the pelvis
- Ripens/dilates the cervix
- Releases endorphins, encourages relaxation, manage labor pain
- Promotes effective uterine contractions if labor is not progressing optimally
- Turns breech/posterior babies
- Relieves a cervical lip
- Sustain a mothers energy
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Reduce the need for medical interventions
- Reduces postpartum hemorrhage
Acupuncture during pregnancy
Research has shown that acupuncture is effective at reducing pelvic pain during pregnancy, reducing morning sickness, and effectively turning a breech baby. The “pre-birth protocol” (once weekly starting at week 36) has been shown to decrease medical intervention. In women who received pre-birth acupuncture there was:
- An overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions (for women having their 1st baby there was a 43% reduction)
- A 31% reduction in the epidural rate
- 32% reduction in cesarean delivery
- 9% increase in vaginal births
The Alternative Birthing Center
The philosophy of the Alternative Birth Care Unit (ABC) is to provide a natural birth experience – one that does not routinely require medical intervention – and one that respects your privacy while encouraging family involvement.
Our comfortable, home-like atmosphere offers privacy and intimacy in a medically supported environment. Our professional staff is committed to the philosophy that birth is a healthy, normal event that does not require medical intervention except in specific, problem circumstances.
At the ABC Unit you will enjoy:
- Over thirty years experience in providing a homelike natural childbirth experience
- Doulas welcome and unlimited family visitation
- Freedom to eat and drink in labor
- Natural care practices; aroma therapy, massage oil, herbal baths and locally produced baby wash
- Respect for your cultural and religious preferences
- Low intervention and c-section rates
Every Birthing Center room is equipped with:
- Queen size bed
- Hydrotherapy tub
- Walk-in Shower
- Birthing chair
- Comfortable recliner chair
- Refrigerator and many more amenities
As part of our continuing service of care, a member of the Providence ABC Unit team will follow up with you by phone after you return home.
Join us on Tuesday November 1st
16001 W. Nine Mile Road at Greenfield
Please join us for a free and informative birthing fair! Designed for new parents and expecting couples. Many great people will be present to meet and speak with.
A great opportunity to meet with our resident pregnancy specialist, Monica Mae Leibson (acupuncturist, birth doula, post partum doula).
A great opportunity to connect with midwives, chiropractors, acupuncturists, pregnancy massage therapists, birth & postpartum doulas, childbirth educators, prenatal yoga instructors, prenatal aqua-aerobics instructors, breastfeeding specialists, hypnotherapists, & photographers.
Speak with specialists about cloth diapers, diaper service, baby wrapping, child safety service, car seats, thermography, herbal baths, homeopathy, photographers. Meet a local author of her recent book “Natural Hospital Birth.”
There is free parking behind the Medical Office Building. From 9 Mile take Providence Dr. south to next light. Turn left. Go into parking lot. Enter MOB’s front doors. Walk through MOB, up a ramp, to the Fisher Center Info Desk. Auditorium is on your left. Feel free to tell your pregnant clients and friends about the event. The resources are from varying areas: Novi, Farmington, Royal Oak, Ann Arbor, West Bloomfield, Warren, Ferndale, Detroit, Northville, Southfield, Beverly Hills, and more.