PREGNANCY & POSTPARTUM
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At FLOAT, we are passionate about helping women achieve balance during the childbearing year, and helping them grow the healthiest baby/babies possible. We are also committed to educating couples about their birth options and using Chinese Medicine to help improve maternal and fetal health outcomes.
Abigail has worked with many of the highly regarded obstetricians and midwives in the Los Angeles area and cared for hundreds of pregnant and postpartum women with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. She combines clinical expertise with a strong sense of intuition and listen carefully to each woman's story.
We believe that in most cases, pregnancy is a normal process, not a disease or a disaster waiting to happen, and that mothers need to be supported and encouraged to listen to their bodies and trust birth!
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Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can be effective for many of the common discomforts and complications of pregnancy and birth, including but not limited to the following…
1st Trimester Issues:
- Morning Sickness
- Nausea & Vomiting, Hyperemesis Gravida
2nd Trimester Issues:
- Lower Back and Hip Pain
- Neck and Shoulder pain
- Antenatal Depression
3rd Trimester Issues:
- Stress/Feeling Overwhelmed
- Joint Pain, Back Pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Excessive Braxton-Hicks Contractions
- High Blood Pressure
- Breech Presentation of Fetus
- Post-Date Pregnancy
LABOR PREPARATION / PRE-BIRTH ACUPUNCTURE PROTOCOL
At FLOAT, we use a Pre-Birth Protocol, adapted from the work of Debra Betts (renowned Obstetric Acupuncturist and nurse in New Zealand) and modified for each patient, to help physically and emotionally prepare the mother for labor and birth. Acupuncture, moxibustion and massage are used in once-weekly treatments from 36 weeks until the patient goes into labor. These treatments help increase blood flow, reduce Qi Stagation and help the mother become calm and centered. When the Parasympathetic Nervous System is calm and the baby is ready to be born, a woman’s body will secrete the hormones that naturally stimulate labor; in a state of “Sympathetic Overdrive” (or “fight-or-flight”), the hormones of fear and anxiety work may suppress the release of oxytocin (the hormone that stimulates uterine contractions). In our clinical experience, we have found that the majority of women who undergo the pre-birth protocol do not end up needing to be medically induced and have healthy, effective labors with excellent outcomes.
The Pre-Birth Protocol is particularly helpful for first-time moms hoping to achieve a natural birth, for women planning a VBAC, for second- or third-time mothers hoping to avoid a repeat of a previous labor that was medically induced, and for anyone with fear about going into labor and/or giving birth. Abigail is happy to speak with any mother’s OB/Gyn, midwife or doula who might have questions about the pre-birth protocol.
By balancing the Qi and Blood of the body, regular maintenance care with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine throughout pregnancy may be effective in preventing and/or helping to resolve some of the following complications:
- Gestational Diabetes
- Pre-Eclampsia & HELLP Syndrome
- Oligohydraminos/Polyhydraminos (Low/High Amniotic Fluid)
- Failure to Thrive a.k.a IUGR
- Breech Presentation of Fetus
- Posterior or Asynclitic Presentation of Fetus
- Pre-Term Labor
We can communicate with your Obstetrician or Midwife in order to provide the most integrated model of care possible.
If you would like to know whether we can help with a particular issue, give us a call! 818-392-8797, or send an email with your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
At FLOAT, we use the ancient Chinese technique of moxibustion to encourage breech babies to turn to a vertex (or head-down) presentation, which is preferable for labor. Patients will be given instruction on how to do self-moxa at home between appointments. In our clinical experience, we have found that the best time to turn a breech baby is between 33-35 weeks, although we have successfully helped breech babies turn as late as 37 weeks and 5 days. If you are 34-37 weeks pregnant, it’s not too late to come in for treatment; give us a call (818-392-8797). The process generally takes between 1-4 treatments, spread closely together, and including acupuncture, moxibustion and deep tissue massage. Often, prenatal chiropractic (the Webster Technique) can be helpful in conjunction with moxibustion; we refer to, and work in conjunction with, local prenatal chiropractors who have expertise in this method.
Please call us AS SOON AS YOU KNOW YOUR BABY IS BREECH; it is best to do the moxibustion technique before the baby’s butt (or other presenting part) has descended into the mother’s pelvis. If you would like, we are happy to speak with your OB/Gyn or Midwife about your particular case after your initial visit.
A Randomized Controlled Trial by Cardini et al, published in 1998 in JAMA, demonstrated the effectiveness of moxibustion for breech presentation.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used for thousands of years to restore a mother’s energy level after birth, promote her general recovery and well-being.
Our Acupuncturists use a combination of acupuncture, moxibustion, massage therapy and herbal medicine to help women feel their best during the intense post-natal period. We also offer house-calls to women who cannot leave their newborns for long enough to make an office visit. Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine are treatments of choice for helping the mother to recover from pregnancy, labor, birth. They also help create balance during the intense adjustment period of bringing a new human being into the world.
Following are some of the POSTNATAL ISSUES we treat frequently:
- Breastfeeding problems (see below)
- Postpartum exhaustion/fatigue
- General body aches and pains
- Postpartum Mood Disorders (Baby Blues; Anxiety; Postpartum Depression)
- Perineal Pain, Hemorrhoids
- Uterine, bladder, rectal prolapses
- Numbness or pain at C-section scar
- Post-C-section complications
- Post-Epidural Syndrome (numbness/low back pain at site of epidural)
- Depleted Mother Syndrome
Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine are well-known for helping with many common breastfeeding problems. Our Acupuncturist often works with lactation consultants (IBCLC’s and CLE’s) to help moms get a handle on a variety of breastfeeding problems or difficulties; she also has six years of breastfeeding experience herself, having nursed two kids close in age. If you need a lactation consultant, we can give you referrals to providers in your area who make home visits.
Some of the breastfeeding issues we treat include:
- Plugged ducts
- Delayed onset of lactation
- Low milk supply
- "Nursing Tendonitis" i.e. Carpal or Cubital Tunnel Syndrome or lateral/medial epicondylitis
- Nursing problems owing to previous breast surgeries (augmentation, reduction, nipple surgeries, etc.)
TESTIMONIALS: PRENATAL AND POSTPARTUM ACUPUNCTURE
Natural Conception Over 40 / Home Birth
I started seeing Abigail when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's. I was in my early forties and trying to have a baby. Abigail helped me through a miscarriage at 12 weeks and her calm and nurturing bedside manner gave me so much peace of mind during one of the most difficult times of my life. I had been under her care for six months when I conceived my daughter, and I credit Abigail for helping the baby "stick" in those early months. Abigail was present at the birth of my daughter, and my husband and I are forever grateful to her. She took such good care of us! Not only did she keep me hydrated and calm as I labored, her intuition and experience grounded everyone in the room! She was so wise and present as I labored in the water - she even thought to grab my phone and snap some beautiful pictures! She is amazing at what she does and I highly recommend her to all the women I know! --KN, Eagle Rock
Post-Date Pregnancy & Postpartum Tendonitis
I was two weeks overdue in my first pregnancy when my doctor starting talking about a hospital induction. Knowing that I was hoping to avoid being induced at the hospital, my doula suggested that I see Abigail. I went to see Abigail for an acupuncture treatment in the afternoon, and by evening I was in labor! After the birth of my son, the constant positioning of my arms and hands to hold and breastfeed the baby resulted in extremely painful tendonitis in my thumbs and wrists. I again went to see Abigail for treatment, and again found her acupuncture to be very helpful in alleviating my problem. In addition, beyond simply treating my post-partum tendonitis, acupuncture sessions with Abigail improved my over-all health and well being, and I left her office with increased energy levels every time. Just as important as the physical benefits I received from Abigail in those early days of motherhood was the emotional support she provided. The advice, comfort, and care I received from Abigail, a new mother herself, helped me in adjusting to the new and rather over-whelming role of mother. Whether receiving treatment as a woman experiencing issues in pregnancy/new motherhood, or simply as someone (man or woman) in need of help with a physical or emotional ailment, I would recommend Abigail’s caring and skillful acupuncture treatment to provide relief to anyone. --M.J., Altadena
IVF Pregnancy Over 40
I first went to Abigail for help with my allergies. After she helped my allergies improve, the visits transitioned into Abigail helping me with a myriad of fertility questions and issues. With her guidance, I went to a great fertility doctor. I was diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (my AMH was less than 0.5). Abigail helped me prepare for several egg retrievals with regular acupuncture and herbs, and treated me both before and after the embryo transfer with treatments on-site. I became pregnant on the first IVF, at age 43. I continued to see her frequently throughout my pregnancy and had an incredible easy pregnancy, no doubt aided by Abigail's treatments. She came to my home for a treatment before I went to the hospital to deliver and she arrived in my hospital room for support as I went into active labor. After I delivered my daughter naturally, she again gave me a treatment and I had so much energy that day despite having had pulled an all-nighter. Needless to say, my husband and I would not have the lovely, happy and healthy daughter we do today without Abigail's expertise in acupuncture and emotional support. She has changed our lives for the better in every way. -Claire Scanlon, Los Angeles
At my 35-week prenatal appointment, we discovered that our baby was in a footling breech position. As I had been hoping to have a non-medicated delivery and to at least avoid a c-section if at all possible, I immediately started researching ways to encourage my baby to flip over. When I called Abigail and explained my situation, she arranged her schedule so that she could give me a treatment at my home within 24 hours. Her manner was calm, reassuring and comforting, and the treatment was relaxing and left me feeling very hopeful. Abigail left my husband and me with supplies and clear instructions about performing moxibustion treatments every night. We did the treatments faithfully. When I went to a chiropractor a few days later, he confirmed that our baby had flipped! An ultrasound a few days later satisfied my obstetrician, too. As she had always been very supportive of my desire to avoid a c-section, she was happy for us, and told us that she had seen quite a few breech presentations flip after acupuncture and moxa. We continued with acupuncture and moxibustion as prescribed, to make sure the little guy stayed head-down, and within weeks (and after a visit to Abigail while I was actually in early labor), I gave birth naturally to our beloved boy. My husband and I both give a GREAT deal of credit to Abigail and her treatments. My husband thinks moxibustion is magic! --K.R., Los Angeles
Thank you, Abigail Morgan! I can't explain what you do, but I know you are my favorite person right now. :)) #prenatalacupuncture #lifesaver -K.D., from our Facebook page
I felt a thousand times better after seeing you yesterday. Not only did I physically feel better (I actually enjoyed my dinner), but you really helped me emotionally with your reassurances and advice. I’m so grateful to have you with me during this journey! --S.G., Woodland Hills
I have been a patient of Abigail’s for over 7 years, for general health through the birth of both of three of my children, a miscarriage at 11 weeks, and now in the beginning of my fifth pregnancy. She has helped me with numerous health issues, from overcoming IBS and chronic back pain, to alleviating morning sickness, heartburn, sciatica and headaches during pregnancy. Not to mention she is the first person I call when coming down with a cold or flu for her perfectly prescribed herbal remedies.
I believe her care was key in helping me achieve two VBACs [Vaginal Birth After C-Section] in my second and third pregnancies, and overcoming many postpartum issues - low milk supply, mastitis, hip pain.
Abigail’s kindness and compassion know no bounds. She encompasses her knowledge of Eastern Medicine, massage, acupressure, aromatherapy, and other bodywork to heal the body, mind and spirit. I would recommend her hands down to anyone, and I frequently do. –M.S. Los Angeles, CA
Placenta Previa & Prebirth Protocol
At the recommendation of my doula, I began seeing Abigail to assist in the correction of a partial placenta previa diagnosed at 22 weeks. After a traumatic first birth experience, it was my goal to have a restorative unmedicated second birth, which would only be possible if this condition completely resolved. Through acupuncture and moxibustion treatments with Abigail, my placenta previa completely resolved by the beginning of my third trimester and I was able to focus my attentions to preparing myself for a natural birth. This preparation included discussions with Abigail about the value of choosing the right care provider for specific birthing goals and eventually lead to a decision to transfer my prenatal care to a local hospital-based midwife at the start of my third trimester. Ultimately, labor and delivery were better than I could have imagined: I was in active labor for about 2 hours, and my daughter was born, completely en caul, 11 minutes after our arrival at the hospital. I attribute the fast labor, and completely intact bag of waters (which protected my daughter from an active GBS infection confirmed earlier that morning) to the Abigail’s dedicated work toward helping my body, and mind, prepare for and achieve a beautiful and empowering birth. -D.S., Los Angeles