Acupuncture

Lainey Smallwood Pedley

Lainey  is the business director of Bub & Bloom and Family Tree Acupuncture, a registered Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist, a registered midwife and nurse. Her motivation is to assist women and their families to achieve optimal mental and physical health.

Lainey has a Masters in Applied Science (Acupuncture) and presently undertaking a Masters in Chinese Herbal Medicine. She uses an integrated approach with her patients’ other health and medical practitioners. Both Western and Chinese medicine have their strengths. At Family Tree it is believed that an integrated, multi-disciplinary treatment approach ensures each individual receives the best possible outcome for their health.

She confidently supports the needs of all men, women and children throughout the ages, using acupuncture and Chinese medicine therapies to successfully treat many areas of internal medicine, muscular and mental health concerns.

Lainey’s acupuncture technique is gentle and effective and may incorporate cupping, moxibustion (heat therapy), dietary therapy and lifestyle advice to restore the body to a state of good health. Distal Needling Acupuncture therapy allows Lainey to relieve chronic or unresolved painful syndromes, whether muscular, gynaecological or physiological.

Women’s health issues are one of her many interests. She uses Chinese Medicine to help couples through the challenges of infertility and provides natural fertility and IVF support. Her emphasis is on preconception and pregnancy care; vital to a healthy mum and baby. Of course Lainey manages all pregnancy related conditions, postpartum and breastfeeding issues.



Pregnancy Health

Family Tree Acupuncture can recommend natural and practical steps to contribute positively to a healthy pregnancy. We believe healthy people make healthy babies and consequently your health, lifestyle and environment take on even more significance during pregnancy.

You are what you eat – a principal never so important as during pregnancy. For example, we know that if your diet is lacking in certain B vitamins, and/or iron, that the quality of your blood will suffer and you may become anaemic. We also know that exposure to certain toxic substances can cause cellular damage – possibly affecting your fertility and the health of your baby.

Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy can read more


Common Pregnancy Complaints

There is a wealth of research to validate the potential uses of acupuncture in the treatment of many common pregnancy complaints. These include morning sickness, constipation and heartburn. Please refer to the research  page if you would like to read more about the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of pregnancy discomforts.

  • Threatened Miscarriage
  • Fatigue
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Anaemia
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Leg cramps
  • Pregnancy Induced Hypertension
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Oedema
  • Carpal tunnel

Threatened Miscarriage

The causes of miscarriage include nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, infection, anatomical problems of the uterus and cervix, exposure to harmful substances, maternal age and autoimmune or chromosomal fetal disorders. Symptoms of a threatened miscarriage are backache, abdominal cramping, and pain resembling period pains, spotting or bleeding.

It is important to contact your obstetrician and then the clinic at any signs of miscarriage so treatment can begin immediately.

Fatigue
Due to the intense demand placed on the mother’s resources by the growing fetus, all pregnant women experience fatigue. While nothing can substitute for sleep and a nourishing diet, acupuncture ensures that the internal organs are functioning optimally, therefore increasing energy.

Morning Sickness
Acupuncture is very effective in reducing both the severity and incidence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.  Most women only need two treatments to start to feel better and some women need to come regularly for a month before they maintain a good effect. Initially treatment is twice a week for two weeks, then slowly cutting down as the nausea decreases.  It is also important to eat small meals and healthy snacks every couple of hours to stabalise blood sugar levels.  Avoid dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt and icecream) and orange juice as these foods can make nausea worse.

Oedema
Women with mild oedema will usually come for treatment in the later stages of pregnancy as their body struggles to cope with the extra fluids generated by the pregnancy. Treatment is focused around managing the symptoms, as mild oedema will resolve following childbirth.

We suggest self administered moxa treatment to supplement acupuncture treatment.  This is performed daily for a period of seven consecutive days. It may take until the fifth day before there is a notable improvement.

It is important to consult your midwife or doctor of your oedema as this could mark the beginning of pregnancy induced hypertension.

Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH)
As hypertension has the potential to escalate quickly, ongoing monitoring with a midwife or gynaecologist remains essential throughout pregnancy.


Pain in Pregnancy

    • Musculo-skeletal pain for women and their partners
      • Lower back pain & sciatica
      • Upper back & neck pain
      • Hip pain
      • Headaches
      • Pelvic pain – coccyx, pubic and pelvic instability
      • Carpal Tunnel
      • Rib pain,

Musculoskeletal pain
Back pain, rib pain, sciatica and symphysis pubis pain are common in later stags of pregnancy and can all be markedly reduced with acupuncture.  Back pain in early pregnancy can be due to other causes and should be thoroughly check out by an obstetrician of midwife.

Acupuncture works by bringing more circulation to the area and helping to reduce inflammation, reducing swelling and relaxing the muscles so that spasms cease. Acupuncture also affects the nervous system and helps to reduce the pain response being elicited from the troubled area.


Birth Preparation

Factual information about preparing for birth is essential for a woman to achieve the best outcome during labour, birth and beyond.

No one has a crystal ball to predict how a labour might turn out. What every pregnant woman has at her disposal, however, is the power to prepare herself mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually for giving birth. Appropriate education can help women gain confidence so that she can more toward birth free of fear. Lainey is midwife, antenatal educator and calmbirth practitioner and provides much information and many techniques to dispel fear, dissolve adrenaline and release endorphins.

    • Restoring Mental health – stress, anxiety, depression and grief
    • Assistance to turn a breech position or posterior baby
    • Induction and birth preparation ( initial physical assessment at 35 weeks and if all well to return for birth preparation acupuncture at 37 weeks and increasing points to induction as pregnancy progresses and individual needs) 

 

Lainey  facilitates workshops for doctors and midwives at tertiary hospitals. She also teaches weekend classes and provides private classes for couples with special needs (physical, mental disability, vision or hearing impaired). Please book online Bub & Bloom Birthing Masterclass

She talks about

  • Birth preparation
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Induction of labour
  • Breech presentation
  • overdue for dates / natural induction
  • Pain relief in labour

 

Acupuncture in Pregnancy Clinical trials  have suggested that acupuncture may assist in several ways, including pregnancy related musculoskeletal pain, nausea and vomiting.


Postnatal Health

Acupuncture has techniques to promote recovery; these include “mother warming” treatments that can be given by her partner, advice on diet and use of specific strengthening and blood building herbs.  In Chinese medicine the post-natal period is merely a point on a continuum which actually starts up to 12 months prior to pregnancy as part of the preparation for producing strong, healthy, robust mothers and babies.

The health of your baby relies fundamentally on the health of yourself. As we know this wonderful new addition to your family brings not only joy and wonder, but sometimes mental and emotional exhaustion. Preemptive measures can be taken before the birth of your little one to ensure that supports are in place to make this transition into parenthood a smooth one in the first few weeks.

Following the birth of your little baby, debriefing can often assist you to move through any  grief or concerns that may be troubling you. An understanding of your experience through a professional perspective can often allay unwanted trauma or sorrow and if required referrals can be made to any number of resources to assist you.

Lainey can assist with breastfeeding lactation and attachment with referral to lactation consultant in the clinic for tricky attachment problems and further support.


Breastfeeding Support

At Family Tree Acupuncture we will assist with any breastfeeding issues using acupuncture and herbal treatments.

Choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is one of the first decisions expectant parents will make. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding as best nutrition for babies. Breastfeeding helps defend against infections, prevent allergies, and protect against a number of chronic conditions.

The general medical consensus is that babies should be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months with further breastfeeding until at least 12 months or longer if both the mother and baby are wanting to.

Although experts believe breast milk is the best nutritional choice for infants, breastfeeding may not be possible for all women. For many women, the decision to breastfeed or formula feed is based on their comfort level, lifestyle, and specific medical considerations that they might have. There are many strong views of breastfeeding which can leave new mums feeling conflicted, confused and under unnecessary pressure. Overwhelming feelings of guilt accompany those who, for whatever reason, have decided to formula feed.

When coming from a midwifery background, it is in the interest of all mothers to know the pros and cons of both breastfeeding and artificial feeding. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed as the health & nutritional values outweigh that of formula feeding. In saying that however, the joy of your baby should take precedence and the pressure of breastfeeding moderated.

We have educated and treated  hundreds of women including ,  mums with low milk supply (maybe after postpartum haemorrhage or caesarean section), dealing with tricky attachment and also to assist with lactation suppression.

The information given below is based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) principles. Family Tree Acupuncture integrates TCM with midwifery expertise to assist with any breastfeeding issues. Choosing a practitioner who is experienced treating women during pregnancy and post-partum is important if you are facing lactation challenges.

A Chinese medicine view of lactation issues

In TCM lactation disorders fall into two distinct categories: low milk supply or milk not flowing.  Mastitis makes up a third category that I will explain later.  Low milk supply is a diagnosis of insufficient energy (called Chi) and blood supply in the mother.  Milk not flowing or problems with let-down are diagnosed as stagnation of energy (chi) preventing milk from moving down the ducts and out of the nipple.  It is not unusual for a mother to have a combination of deficiency (lack of energy and blood) and stagnation (unable to let-down or express the milk) at the same time.

Low milk supply

In TCM it is understood that a woman’s menstrual blood is converted into breast milk once her baby is born.  This is the same blood that was going to the placenta prior to birth.  Energy (chi) is required to convert her blood into milk, and blood itself is required to become the milk.  A predisposition toward anemia or blood loss during delivery can result in a low supply of the mother’s blood resulting in poor milk supply.  Exhaustion due to labor and sleep deprivation can prevent the mother’s body from producing milk because there is not enough energy to generate the milk.

When chi (energy) and blood supply is deficient causing low milk supply, the treatment plan will include acupuncture, possibly an herbal prescription and nutritional guidance.  Nutrition is a very important component of the treatment for low milk supply.  Any food that is good for the production of blood in the mother will help with milk supply.  This includes organic red meats, fish, eggs, and collagen-rich soups made from ham-hocks or chicken with the skin included in the soup stock.  When nursing, it is especially important for a mother to eat organic and free-range meats and poultry if possible.  If the mother is vegetarian, a protein-rich diet is important

Milk not flowing

Stagnation or blockage of energy (chi) in and around the breasts prevents the milk from flowing and impairs let-down.  Stagnation can lead to breast fullness, distension, pain, pressure and engorgement.  Stagnation is also a cause of mastitis.  In TCM the primary cause of this blockage is emotional: feelings of being stressed-out, anger, resentment, frustration and depression.  These emotions cause stagnation of the energy of the liver energy channel. In TCM the liver channel controls the woman’s nipple function and also can facilitate or block the flow of energy and by extension milk in the surrounding energy channels and ducts in the breast.  Stagnation causing problems with let-down and milk flow is treated most effectively with acupuncture, massage therapy and by keeping the mother away from any sources of emotional stress.

Mastitis

Mastitis is a combination of stagnation of chi, blood and milk in combination with infection.  Combining Western medicine with TCM to treat mastitis is more effective than Western medicine by itself.  Antibiotics prescribed by your physician will clear up the infection, and a combination of acupuncture, massage, herbs and medicinal compresses for the breast can alleviate the blocked chi and blood and milk in the breast, thereby reducing engorgement and inflammation.   Herbal prescriptions can be combined safely with antibiotics as a treatment protocol and are also safe for the breastfeeding infant.  In addition to the above mentioned treatments, expressing milk as often as possible either manually, via nursing, or with a pump is very crucial in the successful treatment of mastitis.

Whatever your particular breastfeeding challenge is, consulting with a professional lactation consultant is helpful.  A referral can be made to a qualified lactation consultant if breastfeeding issues are particularly challenging.