EPISODE 34

Acupuncture & Breastfeeding

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Episode Transcript

December 11, 2020

Can acupuncture help me postpartum? Is it safe?

This is Maureen Farrell and Heather ONeal. And this is the Milk Minute an inclusive evidence-based podcast. Hosted by midwives and lactation professionals. That’s us! Here to talk to you about all things, lactation and boobs, body positivity, mental health, all the Milky topics. Join us for another episode.

All right, everybody. Now it’s time for my new favorite segment where Maureen and I give awards to our listeners who have shared their breastfeeding wins with us. And just as a reminder, if you want to share your breastfeeding win with us, you can email us at [email protected] and just put in the subject line, my breastfeeding win, and make sure you let us know if we can use your name or your city, or however you want us to refer to you. Anonymous is also perfectly fine. Okay. Maureen, who do we have now for the winner of this week’s award?

This week’s Milk Minute Awards in the Alcove goes to Kara. Kara nursed in public in two parking lots, four rest stops and a US Embassy. Oh, and a food court. Hell yeah, Kara! Way to go, way to normalize breastfeeding. And you shared a super cute picture of yourself with your little baby who looks as happy as a little clam, breastfeeding wherever that baby damn well pleases, so good for you, girl. Yeah, I’m super proud of you. Let’s see. I think we should award you the bold move award. Love it. That was perfect. Thank you. You get the bold move award, Kara, and also as usual, a high five from us in the alcove.

Let’s take a minute to thank our sponsor, HappiTummi. I am so glad that HappiTummi has made this safe, natural alternative to gas drops and drugs that are just going to alter your baby’s system. HappiTummi is a sweet little wrap that goes right around your baby’s body, and it provides a safe, alternative to infant colic. And just general fussiness as their guts are maturing.

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I do not recommend gas drops and as a lactation consultant and a previous NICU nurse, I can honestly tell you this would have been a godsend for just those babies that are experiencing just those normal symptoms of growing, but they can be a little bit uncomfortable. HappiTummi has the solution for you.

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All right, Maureen, what questions do we have this week to answer from our wonderful, lovely, amazing listeners. So our question this week is from Tara. Tara wants to know the best way to slowly dry up milk when your breastfeeding journey is coming to an end. She had posted before about one breast being dried up, the other she’s still got milk in, and she’s wondering about how to deal with engorgement.

Yeah, so Tara, here’s the thing… this podcast episode that we’re doing today talks a lot about ways that you can relieve inflammation and get everything flowing in a normal way and balancing. And self care, and you know, usually by the time you’re weaning, you are really looking to get some balance back in your life and to kind of find yourself again. Yeah. It’s hard to be a breastfeeding parent and then do that for so long. And then all of a sudden you’re like, you have more time, your baby’s more independent. Some people have a hard time with that, and it’s a great time to start caring for yourself and being really kind to yourself.

So acupuncture is actually one of the ways that you can do this and help with engorgement. And in addition to that, Maureen, do you want to talk about a couple of the herbs that we always recommend? Yeah, as usual, you can always try sage and peppermint. And I don’t mean put some Sage in your dinner. I mean like multiple cups of either of those teas in a day.

And I know you had mentioned that there were only some days you felt engorged, so don’t do it every day, you know, but save that for the days where you feel like you are making more milk. Cold cabbage leaves in your bra, you know, and keep those in all day. And if you really feel engorged and in pain, you can express a little bit of milk and my best advice for that, if you’re really trying to dry out is see if you can just take a warm shower and let that hot water flow over that breast and relieve some of that pressure.

Yep.

Let’s take just a minute to thank our sponsor Liquid IV. Heather, I want to tell you a little bit about this because I was skeptical at first, but when I really looked at it, Liquid IV offers highly effective functional hydration products that make you feel better, faster. Well, I mean, I guess my question is how does that differ from sports drinks?

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We have an amazing guest on the podcast today. Her name is Sasha May and she is doing a such an honor by being here to talk about acupuncture and what it can do for us as it relates to breastfeeding and the postpartum period. So without further ado here’s

All right. So tell us a little bit about yourself. Well, I’m Sasha May and, I’m an owner of Impact Healing and I do Chinese medicine, which includes acupuncture and herbal medicine. And that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been in practice for about eight years right now. Excellent. So I was checking out your website, which is very impressive by the way.

And we’ll of course, link your website in the show notes, but I saw that this was not your first career. So you had a whole career before you decided to go into Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Do you feel comfortable sharing the story of how you came to do that? Oh sure. Yes, the road was long, but I’m glad that I’m here now and doing what I’m doing.

Yes. I started, I always wanted to be doctor. My mother is a doctor. She’s a Western medicine physician still practicing in Denver. So yes, this was like from probably five years old. I, this is what I wanted to do. I was born in Odessa, Ukraine… studied hard, went for two years to medical school, and then we decided to immigrate to United States.

So I landed in Denver and wanted to go apply again because I had two years of medical school. And they told me no, no way the educational system is different; go get your bachelor four years first, and then you can go and try again. And I said, no way, no how, not happening. So, and I decided finance was exciting and interesting.

I decided to go and study that. So, I finished a degree in finance, worked for Charles Schwab as a broker and was financial planner for a very successful career. But it wasn’t mine didn’t feel right. It was all good, but didn’t talk to my heart. So, and my daughter was born. She was born with everything was cool until she was one years old and start walking. And then she was tip-toeing. Then the tip-toeing never ended, and like at three, at four, it wasn’t cute anymore. We start having pains. We start having issues. She was suffering and the options were you either go with serious surgery… we did a lots of PT…. we did lots of things, nothing helped, and nobody explained what was wrong. You know, my mother is in neurologist. I think I seen four different neurologists in four different states. Nobody can figure things out. And I was not willing to do surgery on such a small kid.

Then somebody recommended acupuncture. We tried this once after five sessions, she was walking fine, after 10 sessions it was pretty much not an issue. I was absolutely blown away. And after that I had my own panic attack, you know, being a broker, not an easy job. Yeah. And after that I had to say, Hey, sounds like it is for something else. I’ll try it.

And I tried it and it was, Oh my God. After anxiety, like the sun comes out, you have peace, you have this flow, which is normally I don’t have before it was complete revelation for me change completely. It was like light was on. I started taking, exploring, reading about the medicine and when I realized what we can do with pretty much nothing, you know, I couldn’t turn off. Went four years at school at School of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Denver right now.

And, here we are, love it. Never going to change it for anything else. It’s amazing. I think the job is to educate other people on what we can do because we can heal naturally. And it’s about our lifestyle and how to do things naturally without pharmaceuticals and changing what we think. And by changing this, we’re going to change how we feel.

I love that. That’s such a great story. And, you know, I just, I love stories where people reinvent their lives, you know, and it reminds you like, Hey, it doesn’t matter what age you are. What’s going on. It’s never a bad time to just do something that makes you happy, you know? Yeah. Even if the road is long! Absolutely.

The road is always long, no matter what. So you might as well do something you love. Well, you know, I think the reason we have you here today is because we are lactation consultants and we hear whispers about how acupuncture can help breastfeeding, but, you know, to be honest, I really don’t know a ton about it.

And I’m sure our listeners will have their ears perk up because for the majority of the time, I think when people are having an issue breastfeeding, they are asking the people closest to them in their group. And definitely not looking outside of their country and their cultural norm. And unfortunately, here in the United States, we, I would say acupuncture is still considered pretty fringe.

You know, it’s not part of our regularly scheduled programming for our health, unfortunately. So can you help explain to us what acupuncture actually is? Because some people might not know what it is, how it works and how it can help breastfeeding.

Sure let’s start. Acupuncture is just a little part. And this is part of the whole realm of traditional Chinese medicine, which is a complete medicine, which has been around for 3000 years. And we have continued knowledge in writing. So the formulas I use or how I diagnose it’s been around for a long time and it’s applicable today, as much as it was applicable a thousand years ago. In fact, it’s applicable more now. And what it is, it’s all about balance. And it’s all about flow of energy, quantum physics right now telling us we all know that vibration is everything. It’s all about vibration, right? So this is the principles, which Chinese operate on and everything macro equals micro and everything is connected.

And in essence, you can express the flow of energy through maps. Like we have, you know, it’s like plumbing in the house and you have water going through plumbing and there is no difference with human bodies. So this is how holistically Chinese looked at things. And if you think about it, if we have, let’s say a for lactation, the biggest issue is flow.

So what happening to us when we are stressed out, as women, after pregnancy we’re losing lots of blood, we’re stressed out. And right now, honestly, guys, you have people who are doing this right now, you’re my heroes because this is so hard right now I share this experience. My daughter is 24. So, and I’m looking at my mom’s right now.

And it’s amazing how much more stress you are under how much more uncertainty we have. And as people as women, we don’t have time to recover because we have to take care of everybody else the children, the husbands thinking how all of this works and everything and the houses and full-time jobs on top of it, right?

So it’s all about flow and it’s all about stress. And when we’re stressed out everything in our body kind of stagnates, and that is an issue. The stressed we are, as moms, as human beings, less milk we’ll have, less flow we’re going to have. And so one of the number one things you need to do is I have to teach people how to relax. And this applies here, it applies everywhere, especially from somebody who just had a baby and trying to recover and trying to breastfeed and take care of everybody else. That’s number one thing for now.

If you don’t mind, let me interrupt you. I want to just back up, because what you said was really important, but I want to make sure that I’m understanding this because I really don’t know that much about acupuncture.

What you’re saying is we have a map of our body of vibrations and energy. And women, cause a lot of our listeners can’t see the video, so when you say, you know, this, what she’s pointing to her chest, so women are carrying a lot of stress and closing off those vibrations and energy in the chest area.

Is that what you’re saying? Absolutely. Yes. And then acupuncture is supposed to release, well, first of all, relax and set that energy, right? Or are you releasing it or how does that work? Basically, you balance let’s call it regulation because if you think the body is a closed system, right? With a closed system, what’s happening is we always cry.

Ideally, we’ll have the same energy or the same amount of water circulating within, but sometimes the second floor going to have too much or the first floor or a basement will not have enough. So what you need to do is regulate and the places where we stagnate are normally the neck and shoulders. This is a normal issue for every woman we have. Yes. Thank you.

For many reasons, one of them sitting at a computer for eight hours a day, plus the other thing breastfeeding. That’s the other issues in a lots of ways. It’s here plus the chest area. Absolutely. That’s the second one. And then we have lumbar lower back and pelvis area. So these three areas where things need to open up and kind of move around relieving pain, relieving anxiety, relieving stress, and let the milk kind of flow again and relaxing your central nervous system because lots of things comes from the brain.

So when you see a lactating person come to you for help, what would you say is the number one thing they come to you for? And what do you do for them? Normally I see women who see me for post partum issues, anxiety, depression, lots of fatigue and issues with not enough m or I’ll start having mastitis.

There is issues of inflammation going on and Royal quality of meal, not enough. So that would be something that is really successful to work with acupuncture because it’s not just about milk. It’s about the human being and looking at the mother is a whole and what else needs to happen?

Does she need to rest more? Does she need to eat better foods? Or does she need to maybe hydrate better? Depends what’s going on. It’s very unique to individual, but stress levels are number one right now. And the second thing immunity, this is super, super important for all of us right now, because we all realizing that what’s going on.

I think it’s not a sprint anymore. It’s a marathon and we just need to keep going with it. Yeah. I really love thinking about this in terms of flow and stress, because, you know, we often hear people worry that, Oh, is stress going to dry my milk up? And, and, you know, we try to explain it like, nah, not exactly, but it will impede the flow of milk, stress inhibits your oxytocin and your oxytocin is what lets that milk flow.

So this, you know, th thinking of it in that structure makes so much sense to me and I’m just excited to learn more. And also what you said, totally reiterates what we normally say is it’s not going to be like a cookie that you eat that equals more milk. It is you as a person, anything that’s going to make you more stable and healthy as a person is naturally going to make your milk more nutritious at a micro level and flow easier. And just everything in general tends to be more okay because of the balance. So, you know, you’re just kind of reiterating, it’s not that we’re telling you to go get acupuncture and get all the needles in your face and your chest. And you’re instantly going to have more milk.

It’s a process is what you’re saying, right? It’s absolutely a process, but this is what I can tell you can happen from the first time… people normally, even first of all, I know how everybody is saying, Hey, I hate needles. I’m terrified. I was too. Totally normal, they’re very thin, thinner than .your hair. They don’t go very deep. So it’s non-event in reality, but all of us were thinking blood or, you know, that type of stuff. It’s not like a 22 gauge needle or something.

This experience is very relaxing and my moms… overall, my women come and they always say, Hey, I was looking towards this the whole week. And the reason is this is the only hour in your week where it’s going to be on you, where you’re going to relax. Somebody else will take care of you. And by the end of it, even if it’s your first time, you’re going to be way more relaxed.

Your brain is going to be emptier, you’ll be functioning better, a little sleepy, and the next day you’ll just have more energy and will feel more optimized. And this just builds up from there, you know? Yeah, that’s so important. And, and just to remind people like, yes, you know, if you want to seek out acupuncture or traditional Chinese medicine, that’s great.

If you want to go with another avenue of healing, that’s great. But make it that time that you set aside for you. I absolutely agree. And I feel like also, I think people want to know where the needles are going to be placed. So if somebody comes for breastfeeding help for acupuncture, where can they expect the needles to be placed? Like how do you know where to put them?

Okay. As everything I can answer, it really depends. What I can do ladies, and I don’t know if we can do this, I can show what people can do acupressure wise on themselves. So kind of to prevent things because in reality, I have to evaluate and if people say, Hey, this is too sensitive, I’ll never do anything here. I got to do something on their hands, something on their feet, maybe one or two in the ear, but in reality, like the acupressure, you can do lots of tapping… different protocols. If you want, next time, I can get you. I think it was five top points for lactation, for example, where we’ll locate and talk and massage and do, and we can talk about meridians and all of that.

Yeah. If you want to send me a little sheet of, you know, pressure points for lactating women, I’ll include that we can put it on our website. And we can make it like a landing page with a link to your page as well. So that would be a nice little freebie for our listeners, which would be cool.

Join the fun and get cool perks supporting us on Patreon!

Right. Let me work on it, because I need to put it together. There’s no rush. I think it’s really reassuring for people though, to know that, you know, if they come in and you say, Oh, I’d like to try placing needles, say, you know, on the left side of your chest and they say, Oh no, no, I can’t handle it there, then you say, okay, so we do something else that I think that’s great.

And also a couple of more things, it’s not necessarily going to use needles. For example, I use tuning forks basically does a different frequency and works as good or as needles. Let’s say on kids, this is all I use. On highly sensitive patients, this is all I use. So there is other ways to do this.

Acupressure works, heat works, other things you can do, but I think for you guys at home, the easiest thing is there is nutrition. It’s so powerful. We are what we eat. So if you switch and pay attention to what you eat and what you drink and how you rest. Yeah, but what you’re saying is completely against our Western ways.

So go, go, go and multitasking from every aspect of life. And this is what we’re supposed to do, and this is working efficiently. Not really. You can’t do your work well, you cannot do your children well, you have to focus and you have to have kind of, I call it zero balance. Because if you come from a place of neutrality and if you have the inner sunshine and enough energy to sustain it, nothing will penetrate.

If you can maintain this peace inside, that’s what we need. And for that, we need recovery and rest, and this is not, we’re not giving ourselves. A lot of it’s about building resiliency. So what I think I’m getting from this is that people who don’t know what acupuncture really is, who are that stressed out, that they’re having a problem with their milk and nothing’s working and they begrudgingly are like, fine… I’ll just go do Eastern medicine. They think they’re going to get some needles placed and that will be it and it’ll work or it won’t. But what actually happens is they come, they get a full health workup. They might get needles. They might not, but they leave with some kind of a plan for a healthier life. And they probably were not expecting that.

Absolutely. You did such an awesome job explaining what I do. Yes, yes, exactly. Because people come with a very specific thing, being there’s not enough milk, or having a knee pain or back pain or anxiety, whatever they come, they come to very specific thing and we just approach it through everything, because normally what I’m trying to give to the patients, it’s like, you’re going to see five different doctors. You’re gonna see a psychologist for your brain and insomnia. You’re gonna see gastroenterologists for your IBS issues. You’re going to see orthopedic surgeon for your back. Right?

It’s very different and connected things. Here, we don’t look at it like that. It’s a human being, and we just see where the imbalance is and gently try to remove it. Then, you know, I think that we experienced something similar, you know, people will call us and be in a dire strife about their mastitis or something.

And we end up being like, actually the problem isn’t… none of what you just said is the problem, but if it helps, buy all this other stuff, and they’re like, no, just give me a magic bean to eat. Yeah, it’s going to take some time and some effort and people are like, rarrrr! But you know, I mean, we all have that reaction and that’s okay.

And I think I often have conversations with clients where, you know, say their issue is postpartum depression, and I’m like, absolutely. You know, you can take this medication, but let’s just give your body the best chance it has of healing, by also fixing your nutrition by also adding some exercise, by also addressing your sleep because you can take all the meds you want, and it’s just not gonna work if you don’t fix these other parts… they’re all connected. But my question for you Sasha, on that note, is you said that sometimes people only need one session and it is fixed. So in that scenario, where somebody does come for something specific, they receive an acupuncture treatment and they do see results. What exactly is happening there in the body? That’s getting them those results.

Well, let’s say for something like breastfeeding, you can probably do this in quite a short amount of time. Maybe not one treatment, but let’s say, okay, one treatment. I can take away your headache. Did I address the cause of your headache? No… I did it temporarily right now. It’s been accute – I removed it. That is a realistic expectation. Could it be that I cured your headaches? Not really, because I need to address the physiology and find out why the headache is happening in the first place. We have to look at the cause of your headache. And normally what I say is miracles do not happen in one treatments, just sometimes they do.

Did they happen before? Absolutely. Yes, but it doesn’t mean that it will happen. And it’s unrealistic expectation because if you take one pill for whatever prescription drug you have, can you be cured with one pill? Not really. Same idea. So it’s has to be built up because it’s foundation where it gently kind of changes physiology and that takes time and the body have to adjust and you have to be nice and gentle.

It’s very natural. So yes, normally it’s a process like everything else, universal rules, you know. Yeah, thank you. That’s very helpful. So for our listeners, you know, what’s the one thing you want them to take away? Our breastfeeding listeners, they want to know about acupuncture. What’s the one thing that you have to tell them.

I think number one, they need to pay attention to themselves and take care of having rest in their day, whatever it is they can do to get away from everything else and maybe just go for 30 minutes, breathe deeply in the sunshine. Find the sunshine. I have like hurricane winds right now in Denver.

So I would say, pay attention, because if you observe what’s going on, you can prevent things and a little bit, thirty minutes a day, rest and disconnection from everything will keep you balanced will keep you grounded and it will keep you in flow. You can do it through dancing for three minutes, really, you know?

Moving getting the emotions out. You can do a sitting meditation. You can do through fast walking, whatever people like, whatever works for you, but if you do this for 30 minutes, you will prevent all the stagnation in your chest. Everything will flow, the baby’s going to be happy and the mom’s going to have energy to enjoy the babies, right?

Yeah. That’s a really good takeaway. I love that. I feel like every episode we’re like guys, just pat yourself on the back for any thing that you did well today. Take a minute and just be grateful. Yeah. Grateful that like things are okay, and the children are good and the husbands are here and you have family and we have a sunshine. Right?

And sometimes even if you don’t have those things, it’s like, there’s something, I just took a breath. There’s a flower over there. And you found the time to do that. That’s important. Yeah, well, Sasha, thank you so much for explaining that to us today. Is there anything else you wanted to add in there about breastfeeding and acupuncture?

Well, I just suggest people to try it because, all my moms, everybody who comes in, it’s a beautiful way to take care of yourself. And you don’t need to come every week. You know, I have people who come once a month and it’s a tune-up think about it. It’s like we are the car and you already like having a child it’s like, right away a hundred thousand miles right there from day zero, right? Yeah. So what we need, we totally need a tune up because everything, what we experienced was an absolute, maximum, you know, nine months of carrying, then lots of energy on delivering and then we’re breastfeeding and they growing on top of a COVID and everything else and jobs and all of it. Right?

Are there any side effects to acupuncture? Well, the worst thing I can do is a bruise on you. I’ll bruise that you can do because I still work with a little needle, even though there is a pathetic needle, but I still can bruise you. Other than that, you might be a little tired after, but that will balance.

So no, there is not much overall in general, the worst you might not feel anything in the beginning, but eventually you will because eventually people open up things are going to flow. All we’re doing, we’re just improving this connection between inner and outer between your mind, your body and soul, that it all talks to each other and kind of floating together.

But I think in reality, like for moms, the biggest thing, which I think I can shift in our medicine is like psycho-emotional things so, postpartum because we can get… it’s so deep, it’s so dark out there and there is so many meds. So we can kind of push with very gentle help people to come out and it’s effective and it’s needed because other options are horrible options, in my opinion.

Yeah. They’re not great. And there are side effects to any other option that you choose outside of natural anything to do with mood balance. Yes. We deal with that every dang day? Well, every patient I see, I know, I know it gets so discouraging after a while when we’re like, Oh my gosh, somebody else has postpartum depression and low milk supply. Are you f*cking kidding me?

Yeah. But look at what’s going on in our world, ladies. I don’t know. I think people who have, women who have children right now, are heroes. Well, thank you, Sasha so much. Ladies, it’s been a pleasure. Really. This is not the last time we talk, we’ll stay in touch.

Yeah. I’m so pleased with this. Well, really quick. I just wanted to say that I deeply appreciate Sasha’s time and I hope all of our listeners do too, because that was such a fun interview. She’s so positive. I know. I love it. I was like, Oh why are you in Denver? Don’t you feel like she genuinely wants to help?

And I think that’s like the most important thing. I mean, really like isn’t, isn’t that why people prefer midwifery care too? They’re like, I just sit down with someone who remembers my name, who wants to help, who has time to help. And I’m not just like the chart. They read two minutes before walking in.

Right. Anyway, anyway, we all want that. Maybe it comes from our mommy issues, but we all want it. Well, so let me just say, you can find the freebie that she’s putting together at www.milkminutepodcast.com/acupuncture. Yes. And we’re going to put a link to that and a link to her website in our show notes. Yes.

And again, her name is Sasha May. She’s a licensed acupuncturist and her business is called Impact Healing and Wellness Center and they are in Denver, Colorado. Wonderful. Love it. Wow.

I wanted to do a quick little segment about the evidence we have on acupuncture. Just to throw out there kind of the condensed scientific stuff we know. So I actually, most of this came from the LACTmed website, which is just so useful. And if you guys don’t use it already go to the LACTmed website, it’s some URL that I always forget, but just Google LACTmed, and bookmark that shit, because this website tells you the safety of medications, medical treatments, supplements, all of that, as far as it pertains to breastfeeding your baby and on how it affects your lactation, which is just so bad-ass. So anyway, they had a whole page on acupuncture and I was like, well, thanks, LACTmed. You just made my job easy.

So, there have actually been a lot of studies on acupuncture as it pertains to its use with lactation. Most of them are from China because this is traditional Chinese medicine. They’re generally pretty small studies that don’t, they don’t exactly meet the kind of evidence-based guidelines, because it’s really difficult to create, say a double-blinded study with acupuncture, right?

It’s not like you get a sugar pill and you get a real pill. However, these are really useful data sets anyway. And I think just because they don’t meet that particular standard or rather, you know, this round object doesn’t fit in a square box, that doesn’t mean that we should ignore it. I still think this is really valuable.

So mostly we see this acupuncture work being done to help women with a low milk supply and pretty universally, there were no adverse side effects. And in fact, the only odd side effect of using many of these acupressure points and doing this acupuncture was that when they did them in people who were not currently lactating, some of them experienced galactorrhea, which is considered abnormal lactation for non-pregnant or currently non-lactating people.

Oh, my so, and that was only in people who had previously lactated. So what you’re saying is when you have your baby and you bring her to the alcove, I could get some acupuncture and start lactating again and help you out? Possibly we should invite Sasha over and see; that’d be a weird time. So that was actually, I was reading that and I was like, are we going to call this an adverse side effect?

Cause I feel like this is more proof that this works. But yeah, and that was really cool. And then there were some studies about orbicular therapy for low milk supply too, which just is using points on the ear only. Which is pretty cool. So it’s stimulation of acupoints on the ear that correspond to various anatomical sites and functions of the body acupuncture sees this for diagnosis, treatment prevention of disease.

It’s really cool. It’s a very interesting area of traditional Chinese medicine. So there was a systemic review of 26 studies of using orbicular therapy to increase milk supply that included over 3000 patients. That’s a lot, by the way, that is big. Yeah. I mean I’m like these data sets are significant.

Anyway, overall studies found a positive effect on milk production, positive effect on onset of lactation, serum prolactin levels went up, breasts felt fuller, neonatal states were considered more positive, more satisfied, less fussiness. And there was an increased frequency of newborn urination and defecation. No adverse effects were reported.

That’s so cool! I mean again, why not? We’ll make a phone call. Yeah, so cool. I’m about ready to go make an appointment. Just for my life. I also wanted to point out this is pretty cool because this works in a lot of what Sasha was talking about with encouraging flow. So there were some specific studies on using acupuncture for engorgement, which is also milk stasis, right?

That’s milk getting stuck and just general inflammation getting stuck. And like Sasha was saying, you know, the whole concept of how traditional Chinese medicine sees the body is this map of flow. So it makes sense that you would use that treatment protocol and use that way of thinking to deal with stagnation.

Right. And engorgement is stagnation. It’s inflammation. It’s milk stasis. So, randomized, non-blinded studies at just one outpatient, Swedish lactation clinic… they compared routine care, you know, warm compresses, oxytocin spray, stuff like that to, they compare that to routine care that also included acupuncture at only two or three points. Right? So very small acupuncture use. And the meta-analysis concluded that the women who received the acupuncture were less likely to develop abscesses. They had less severe symptoms by the fifth day, and they had a lower rate of fever and mastitis than women in the typical care group. That’s really interesting.

I like that. Because what is the typical care? You know? We won’t get into that, but it’s very compelling and I just really am now, of course my little research brain is like, how can I get this research into our local hospital? And get my boss to pay for me to do this research. Yeah, let’s do that. I’d be so excited.

Starting with you. Patient zero. I know I will volunteer for it. I’m actually very excited to perhaps, get some auricular therapy because I know a family nurse practitioner who’s right now focusing actually on auricular therapy for opioid addiction, but she’s teaching some people about it. And my friend who was a nurse was learning. She was like, well, I need some practice. And I was like, I, over here, have stress and anxiety and I could use some auricular therapy. Yeah. And on that note, if you all out there listening have got acupuncture, or you’re going to get it, send us a picture or video or a testimonial acupuncture experience.

Let’s get, let’s start a talk about this. I love, I mean, I just, my whole takeaway from this is like, you know, using traditional Chinese medicine can be just a wonderful kind of addition to your options here, you know, and it really, if it’s available to you and you like it, you know, you go and you’re like, wow, that was great. Then make it part of your regular care routine.

And I like that you say in addition to it’s not all or nothing, you don’t have to, Oh, I only do Eastern medicine and you can, yeah. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Right? You can blend the two. I mean, I seriously doubt you would ever go to a Western medicine, primary care physician and say, Oh, I’m going to get acupuncture. And they tell you not to. They just, they roll their eyes. They might roll their eyes at worst. I mean, it’s not unsafe.

You know, let me tell you what guys as to like, this is, if you’re listening and you’re like, wow, I just never thought about acupuncture. It seems so foreign to me. It is becoming much… it’s moving toward the mainstream. My father uses acupuncture and he is a very straight-laced, comes from a military family. Yeah. I mean, and he swears by it and he’s like, this really helps me. And, you know, I don’t know if his practitioner like, you know, does the whole complete holistic counseling thing, but whatever she does, he loves it.

And, and I think that that speaks volumes to me. You don’t all know my father, but it’s a big deal. Wow. My dad would totally do it. Yeah. I gotta talk to him about it. I was shocked when my dad mentioned it, but quietly shocked cause I didn’t want to let it on that I was shocked. I just said, oh really? Tell me more… expand on that, dad. But very pleased, shocked in a pleased manner in case. Yeah. Anyway, so yeah, it was great.

You guys go out there and get some acupuncture and then tell us about it, please. All right, thanks guys. Thanks for listening to the Milk Minute. If you haven’t already please like, subscribe and review our podcast wherever you listen. If you’d like to support our podcast, you can find us on Patreon at patreon.com/milkminutepodcast.

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