From the first missed menstrual cycle through the perinatal period, Dr. Rozenn provides her patients with the best in pregnancy wellness. Read on to see how she promotes health during each phase of pregnancy.
During the first trimester, Dr. Rozenn feels strongly that weekly treatments promote the health and both Mom and Baby. She is constantly evaluating and supporting her patient’s pregnancies. Just as the pulse changes during each phase of the menstrual cycle, it changes during the first trimester. When taking the pulse, Dr. Rozenn looks for certain qualities to ascertain the potential for miscarriage. Of course, this is not an exact science. She can’t always tell who is going to miscarry or who is going to become nauseated. However, the pulse yields critical information, enabling her to administer the appropriate treatment. Treatments may address nausea, fatigue, constipation, bleeding during pregnancy and/or threatened miscarriage. Despite the high risk nature of many of her patient’s pregnancies, miscarriage among Dr. Rozenn’s patient population is rare.
The second trimester is usually the “golden period”. Women tend to feel good, they have their energy back, nausea subsides and they breath a sigh of relief as they pass week 12. Sometimes Dr. Rozenn sees women regularly during this phase, especially if they have preexisting back problems such as low back pain, sciatica, heartburn and hemorrhoids, which can flare during pregnancy. Structural treatments are used during this phase of pregnancy and through the third trimester, to help women’s bodies support the weight of their baby. Treatments can take the pressure off of their low back, shoulders and neck.
Around week 28, most patients are encouraged (or required) to get a glucose tolerance test. There are variations, but basically, blood is taken, then a sugar-laden drink is administered and blood is subsequently drawn at regular intervals. Physician use these blood tests to determine how the pregnant woman is metabolizing sugar. Sometimes during pregnancy women experience difficulty stabilizing their blood sugar levels. There are so many ways to help women through this time. Specific acupuncture treatments promote blood sugar stability. Additionally, diet and lifestyle shifts can exert a profound effect on blood sugar levels. Occasionally, Dr. Rozenn suggests nutritional supplements or herbal formulas to assist the body in utilizing glucose.
Dr. Rozenn has had a good deal of success in turning breech babies. In large part this is because she encourages her patients to confirm that the baby is head-down earlier than most OB/GYNs. Dr. Rozenn feels strongly that her patients should have their baby’s position checked between weeks 31 and 34. Midwives, OB/GYNs, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants can ascertain the baby’s position through touch or ultrasound.
A baby is breech if its position is anything other than head down. There are several ways a baby can be “breech”. By week 34 the baby should be head down. If not, Dr. Rozenn will assist patients by attempting to “turning the fetus”. The acupuncture point Urinary Bladder 67 has heat therapy applied to it daily until the woman feels the baby turn and/or the baby’s position is confirmed through the diagnostics of a birth professional. This classical treatment has modern research behind it.
Other than this intervention, women may have to choose between a manual turning technique, calledexternal cephalic version (ECV), which can cause spontaneous labor, or make a C-section necessary. Acupuncture and moxabustion can be very effective in encouraging the fetus to turn. A compelling study, Factors affecting the success of moxibustion in the management of a breech presentation as a preliminary treatment ot external cephalic version (ECV), found that it was both less invasive and cost effective to offer women moxibustion treatment as an alternative to ECV.
Moxabustion (the application of heat therapy) burst onto the Western obstetrics after the very prestigious medical journal, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that moxabustion on Urinary Bladder Point 67 to be an effective tool in correcting breech presentation.
Pre-Birth Series–Weeks 36-39
Sometimes women skate right through pregnancy with no problems, no issues what so ever. In this case, Dr. Rozenn won’t see these patients again until week 36. When a vaginal birth is planned, patients undergo the “Pre-birth Acupuncture Series”, a protocol of standardized points shown to promote efficient labor and reduce medical interventions. This is an adaptation of a protocol developed in Germany, where midwives can administer acupuncture treatments in hospitals. Therefore there is more data upon which to draw information. The protocol consists of one acupuncture treatment per week for the last four weeks of pregnancy. Researchers found that women who received this protocol, on average, had these positive outcomes:
- A shorter labor (on average by one hour)
- Fewer Western medical interventions
Due Date and Birth
We recommend that after our pregnant patients complete the prebirth series, that they schedule an acupuncture treatment on their due date. For many women, this is the slight push they need to drop into labor. Women are also encouraged to schedule a second treatment 3 days after their due date just in case labor has not yet begun or the contractions have not become rhythmic. Occasionally, qi and blood stagnation cause women to carry their pregnancy past the due date.
Treatment is aimed at bringing balance to the body, and in many cases this may cause labor to begin, or contractions to become productive. Dr. Rozenn makes the decision to treat pregnant women on a case by case basis, and if she does not feel acupuncture treatment is appropriate, she will refer to the germane medical professional.
Dr. Rozenn often begins her relationship with patients before pregnancy or during the first trimester. This relationship built on trust, extends into the second and third trimesters, culminating in labor, but extending through the postpartum period and beyond.