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Birth Resources

Pregnancy Health Practices
Article written by Helen Pulford - Mum, Midwife and Childbirth Educator, for KiwiParent magazine

This section is broken down into the following sub-categories:

Pregnancy Health Practices

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Pregnancy Health Practices

In the childbirth education classes we cover some of the different health practices that are available. Instead of having me tell people about these I decided to put together a pregnancy health day in Wellington and invite different health practices to come and talk.

There are other health practices that are available but we were only able to accommodate seven speakers, which included the following:

Kate O'Connor (Acupuncture)
Mukti Legerska (Yoga in Daily Life Centre)
Joanna Clouden (Pilates)
Jennifer Cox (Lactation Consultant)
Kath Sinclair (Pregnancy massage and shiatsu)
Catherine Falconer (Naturopath/Herbalist)
Pip Heard (Physiotherapy)

The following is a summary from the speakers of the information, which was provided.

Kate O'Connor (Acupuncture)

Acupuncture treats illness, prevents disease and promotes health and well-being. It is safe, effective and drug-free and compatible with conventional medicine. It can successfully treat many of the ailments relating to pregnancy and is effective in preparing the body to work at its optimum functioning for birth.

Treatment with acupuncture is achieved by the use of very fine needles inserted into particular points in the body and thereby altering the flow of Qi, or energy, which flows through channels along the limbs to the internal organs.

Mukti Legerska (Yoga in Daily Life Centre)

Yoga will improve your fitness and facilitate labour. It balances the body, emotions, mind and soothes the spirit. It will help you to access deep resources of energy, through relaxation, postures and breathing.

Joanna Clouden (Pilates)

During pregnancy our bodies adapt to changes in spinal curves and hormonal effects. Today, we recognise that pregnancy makes physical and emotional demands on you, and exercise is one way to help you stay as healthy as possible. A well-balanced exercise programme can minimize the discomforts typically associated with pregnancy and may allow for an easier delivery of the baby with a faster post-natal recovery.

There is a growing body of research that demonstrates that moderate physical exercise during pregnancy is not only safe but also beneficial for both the baby and the mother-to-be.

One option for improving your well being during pregnancy is a "core", "stability" or "pilates" programme. With an emphasis on good core control, muscle balance and postural alignment.

Jennifer Cox (Lactation Consultant)

An International board certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a breastfeeding specialist qualified to prevent, recognize and resolve breastfeeding problems. For a private consultation there will be a charge otherwise there are often Lactation Consultants who you can see for free at Plunket Family Centres.

Kath Sinclair (Pregnancy massage and shiatsu)

Massage and Shiatsu are both great ways to help reduce stress, alleviate some of the discomforts of pregnancy and promote general well-being. They are very relaxing which is important when many pregnant women work for most of their pregnancy or have other children to care for. It helps prepare both the expectant mother and baby for birth and the postnatal period.

Benefits of Massage during Pregnancy:

  • Relieves many normal discomforts of pregnancy, such as back pain, leg cramps, headaches, nausea and sore swollen ankles and feet.
  • Aids circulation which eases the load on the heart, helps to check blood pressure, and brings more oxygen and nutrients to body cells (yours and your baby).
  • Relaxes tense muscles, especially in the back, shoulders and legs.
  • Helps relieve depression or anxiety caused by normal hormonal changes.
  • Soothes and relaxes nervous tension, letting you sleep more easily and deeply.
  • Maintains the body in good condition, enabling a faster return to normal after birth of your baby (or babies).
  • Helps relieve the tension that often occurs when coping with the major changes and adjustments of parenthood.

Shiatsu - Works by balancing the energy in the body. It is done fully clothed and is deeply relaxing

Catherine Falconer (Naturopath/Herbalist)

Keeping well energised and in good health during pregnancy will have a profound effect on your stamina for birth, nutrients for breastfeeding and your recovery after birth.

As a Naturopath and Herbalist I will be able to advise you about diet. During a consultation health issues are addressed and a maintenance plan is formulated. My focus is on optimum health for you and your baby and preventing any foreseeable problems.

I treat:

  • Complete preconception care
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Constipation/Haemorrhoids
  • Nausea/Fatigue /Insomnia
  • Poor immunity
  • Recovery after birth
Pip Heard (Physiotherapy)

Physiotherapy services are available both privately and publicly in New Zealand and cover a wide range of musculoskeletal complaints that occur during and immediately after pregnancy. Common pregnancy conditions helped by physiotherapists can include Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Low Back Pain, Pelvic Pain, Incontinence issues, and TENS machine use to name a few. The Hospitals also provide loan of specialised braces and provide some hydrotherapy and stretch class services. Pre or Postnatal women are encouraged to seek assessment from a physiotherapist with a referral from their LMC.

For more information from these Wellington Health practices:

City Osteopaths, Level 4, 166 Featherston St, Wellington Ph (04) 499 1439

Mukti Legerska
Yoga in Daily Life, 21 Jessie St, Wellington or call us at 801 7012.

Joanna Clouden is a musculoskeletal physiotherapist, who currently runs Pilates for Pregnancy and Post-natal Pilates classes on Saturday mornings at Revitalize Health Practice.

Catherine Falconer. ND, DipHerbMed, BHSc, MNZAMH
Registered Naturopath & Medical Herbalist

Daytime service providing contact details of an IBCLC Lactation Consultant ring 0800 4 lactation.
Websites and
Plunket Family Centres in Wellington:
Johnsonville Mon - Tue 478 4900
Rongotai Wed - Thu 387 7594

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