It’s wonderful to see integrative medicine make it into the mainstream. Often times this is achieved by celerities and peak athletes (remember those cupping marks sported by Michael Phelps a few years back? 😉) It seems acupuncture and hypno-birthing are getting the royal treatment so to speak.
Reportedly, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has been utilizing acupuncture in the lead up to the birth of her first child, and intends to utilize hypno-birthing and a doula as well.1 Acupuncture is an excellent modality to utilize from prior to conception all that way through the birthing process itself. It can help with a variety of circumstances including fertility (both men’s and women’s) and morning sickness. In some cases it’s used as a natural alternative to chemical induction for patients who are at or past their due date, and can be employed to help manage contractions. Certain acupuncture and adjunctive techniques can even be used to flip breach babies into the appropriate position prior to birth.
In additional to acupuncture, it’s reported that the duchess will be practicing hypno-birthing, a technique focused on maintaining a relaxed state during the birthing process. Hypno-birthing involves using breathing techniques, positive affirmations, and self hypnosis to help redirect the perception of labor pains and allow a woman to work with her body during birth, instead of fighting against the discomfort many people automatically associate with childbirth.2 Currently, there is a very limited body of research into hypno-birthing, most of it found to be low quality. However, given the interest, authors of a recent Cochrane review suggested that larger, more well designed studies could examine the effects more fully.3
Here’s to more integration of ancient and modern medical techniques for the best outcomes possible!