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Sarah TewheyInstructor's AssistantJuly 1, 2021 at 3:58 am
This is a great discussion that is giving me lots of good ideas!
I typically only do postpartum home visits when I’ve also attended someone’s birth as an acupuncturist, doula or midwifery assistant and in those cases the cost for those visits are included in a package either with me or their midwife. I also used to do these visits as a gift at no charge for individuals I’d worked with for fertility or during pregnancy and I would echo Amy that with travel time the visits can take 3 hours or more and it is so important to make sure you are being compensated most of the time (I still do a certain number each year probono). I found it was easy to get burnt out fairly quickly, particularly if I was working with a family who had high needs in the early postpartum.
For postpartum home visits I generally check in with the family prior to arrival to find out what it is that they need most. Sometimes it is acupuncture and moxabustion, sometimes I will make up an herbal formula to bring with me. Sometimes the birthing person really needs some acupressure or bodywork to loosen tight muscles or bring them back into their body if birth was traumatic. Often I bring a big bag of postpartum tea containing nourishing herbs like milky oats, nettles, chamomile, lemonbalm, etc and I’ll make up a quart while I am there in the home, to be consumed after I leave. Sometimes I will bring a meal with me or some homemade snacks that are easy to eat one-handed. Sometimes I do a full treatment and am fully present as an acupuncturist, sometimes its troubleshooting digestive or breast/chestfeeding issues in birthing parent or baby, sometimes I just snuggle baby or play with an older sibling and fold laundry while parents get a shower or a walk. If I’ve been at the birth there is often a deep need for the parents to rehash the birth story with me, particularly if things didn’t go as planned. I try to stay open to whatever is needed of me in that moment – it isn’t always acupuncture ;-). I almost always will put in ear seeds before leaving (often for both parents) – the points change depending on what is presenting, but Shenmen, Sympathetic and/or Heart are almost always in the mix.
I am excited to try the moxa Ciara mentioned! I generally use smokeless moxa (which is still pretty smelly) and I give families a one page handout on doing Motherwarming on their own at home.
I don’t use an infrared heat mat, but do use these products from Hot Snapz (https://hotsnapz.com/). I’ll use the larger mat in home treatment and sometimes leave a few of the smaller ones in the home to be used daily on the areas of Du4 and CV4/6 if the birthing person is showing signs of cold (which is so super duper common here in Maine). These are also AWESOME for sore muscles and clogged ducts in lactating people. In homebirth we also use them to keep new babies warm in the car if we have to do a non-emergency transport of a newborn. They give fairly intense heat for 30-40 minutes and can be reused over and over again.
All the best!