Managing Pregnancy Discomfort: Acupuncture

If you’re looking for a non-invasive way to help relieve your pregnancy discomfort, then acupuncture may be a great alternative for you! How exactly does the acupuncture work and how can it help to heal the body? Does having a bunch of needles inserted just below your skin hurt? And what can you expect to have happen during an appointment?

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Preggie Pals
Managing Pregnancy Discomfort: Acupuncture

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Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription

[Theme Music]

BRENT KEIME: Many women are looking for more non invasive treatments to help manage common pregnancy discomforts. Acupuncture can be used to promote overall health during all phases of a woman’s life including during a pregnancy. I’m Brent Keime, a licensed acupuncturist and today we’ll be discussing how acupuncture can contribute to a pregnant mom’s health and well being and also alleviate common pregnancy discomforts. This is Preggie Pals, episode 80.

[Theme Music/Intro]

ANNIE LAIRD: Welcome to Preggie Pals broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. Preggie Pals is your weekly online, on-the-go support group for expecting parents and those hoping to become pregnant. I’m your host Annie Laird. Thanks to all of our loyal listeners who have joined the Preggie Pals Club. Our members get special episodes bonus contents after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. You’ll also get a free subscription to pregnancy magazine. See our website for more information. Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Preggie Pals App available in the Android and iTunes marketplace. At this point I’m going to be tossing it over to Stephanie, she’s our producer, she’s in the studio today. And she’s going to be talking a little bit about our virtual panelist program.

STEPHANIE SAALFED: Hi everyone! Okay so we want you to be involved no matter where in the world you are. First you have to like our preggie pals facebook page or follow us on twitter. And if you’re on twitter please use the hash tag #preggiepalsvp. So, a few days before our tapings, I’m going to be posting some sneak preview questions and we’d love to hear your thoughts. So, if you have any other questions you can go to www.preggiepals.com under the community tab - be a virtual panelist.

ANNIE LAIRD: Great! Thanks so much. Alright let’s go around the table and introduce our panelist or guest here today. We’ll start with just myself my name is Annie and I’m the host and I’m 35. I’m a government contractor by day and when I’m not pregnant I’m a birth doula. I’m pregnant with my third baby and he/she, we’re not sure of the gender is due on the 24th so I’m thinking maybe a little bit earlier, but we’ll see here in a couple of weeks. This is my third child and I’m planning a homebirth.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Hi! I’m Melissa Lang Lytle. I am 42 years old. I am a labor doula and a birth choices activist. I am pregnant with my third child also. I am having a boy and gestate is at the end of January. I also have 2 little boys at home, Benjamin who will be 5 in December and Joseph who’s 3. And I had a planned home birth for my first birth but I ended up transferring to the hospital. And an amazing water-birth with my second home birth and I’m planning a third home birth for this child.

ANNIE LAIRD: Great!

STEPHANIE SAALFED: And I’m Stephanie. I’m 30 years old. I have a 9 month old baby girl at home. I have always been so interested in acupuncture and have never done it but I’ve always wanted to. So, I can’t wait to hear all about this.

ANNIE LAIRD: Great!

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ANNIE LAIRD: Now before we get into the acupuncture part of this episode today. We’re going to start off with a news article. So, occasionally on our Preggie Pals episodes we go into common news articles, things on the headlines dealing with pregnancy. The article from today is from the Huffington Post, the title is: Pregnant Crossfit Mom Infuriates Misguided know it alls on facebook. So you know, that isn’t biased or anything like that. So, but what the picture that it shows, it shows a picture of a very heavily pregnant mom and she is doing an overhead squat.

So, she’s got her tube socks on and she got her sports bra and looks like at least 55 pounds on either side of the squat bar here over her head. And so, what she wrote on facebook with this picture is: "8 months pregnant with baby number 3 and CrossFit has been my sanity. I have been CrossFitting for 2 1/2 years and ... strongly believe that pregnancy is not an illness, but a time to relish in your body's capacities to kick ass." Well so she posted this and she immediately, got, she had 451 shares in 2 hours. So, a lot of critical things posted on her facebook page from “that can’t be safe” to "You may have mastered the squat but need to work on motherhood - 8 months doing an overhead squat really??!!!"

So, I mean, what are you ladies think about this? Do you think that this is something that, I mean, is safe or, I mean she said she’s been doing it for two and a half years, so, what do you think about this?

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: I saw the picture and didn’t read the articles so to comment on that specifically I wouldn’t know because I’m not a weightlifter. I know that I talk to my midwife a lot about things that seemed to have miss around it. So, I was a marathon runner for many years and I’m now pregnant with my first born and it was stop running, walk and that wasn’t true. So, I would just encourage anyone who maybe is a weightlifter or doing any kind of intense workouts to make sure they’re talking with their midwife or provider. But as far as me personally, I don’t know enough about weightlifting to know whether or not it’s safe during pregnancy, but I would just hope that she’s squatting correctly

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah. He’s not all over your toes and all that. Yeah, exactly. Stephanie what do you think?

STEPHANIE SAALFED: You know, I saw the article, yeah I kind of skimmed over it. I think you know, kick ass girl, like if she’s been doing it and her doctor says it’s okay, who is anybody else to judge?

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah it says at the end of the article, shortly after the picture was taken, she gave birth when she was 39 and was pregnant so, squatting, I guess. You know, I think I’d have to agree with you Melissa of there definitely have to be modifications to what a woman does when she’s pregnant you know I think gone were the days I think back in the 50’s, you know when my grandmother was pregnant women were being told don’t raise your hands over your head because the umbilical cord could strangle the baby. Obviously, that’s not true.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Yeah but they were smoking and drinking Martini’s

ANNIE LAIRD: That is true. Yeah that was on the third Martini that was given. So, I think your point that you have is really valid of you know making modifications is very important and you know more important than what type of exercise you’re doing is what you’re doing safe for the baby and safe for yourself. It’s listening to your body, listening to your baby. Obviously you don’t have to stop, you shouldn’t be stopping all physical exertion while you’re pregnant. It is a time where it’s not an illness, I think you know, she’s right there but things have to be modified. You don’t want to injure yourself.

[Theme Music]

ANNIE LAIRD: Today on Preggie Pals, we’re discussing using acupuncture to manage discomfort during pregnancy. Now this is part of an ongoing series here we’re doing at Preggie Pals of looking at different ways that women can manage pregnancy discomfort with maybe non medical or more non invasive measures so we’ve already done one with physical therapy and we’re continuing today with acupuncture. Our expert today is Brent Keime. Brent has been licensed acupuncturist in the state of California since 2006, much of his practice centers on the care of women in pregnancy. I say this because he is my also my personal acupuncturist. I see him every week.

He’s on the faculty and an administrator for the Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery in San Diego. He works closely with many San Diego area midwives to provide safe, drug free, natural health care for expecting mothers. This part of Brent’s practice includes both the treatment of ailments common to pregnancy as well as maintaining optimal health and wellness to mothers and their babies throughout pregnancy and into postpartum care. Brent, welcome to the show, thanks for joining us.

BRENT KEIME: Thanks for having me

ANNIE LAIRD: So, let’s start off with, how does acupuncture work? What’s the basic idea of acupuncture?

BRENT KEIME: In acupuncture, we use very thin sterile disposable single use needles. We put them in specific anatomical points that are usually near the surface of the skin or at the surface of the skin. And by stimulating these individual points, we can get the body to change physiological and biochemical functioning. So, that’s sort of the jest of it.

ANNIE LAIRD: Great! How common in this is in the United States? You know, before I move to San Diego, I had never heard of, I’d heard of acupuncture but I thought it was something in China. You know it was just, something that wasn’t very common

BRENT KEIME: And in California

ANNIE LAIRD: And in California

BRENT KEIME: All those weird people on the west coast

ANNIE LAIRD: Exactly! I tried to move here and became a hippie, yeah. But, how common is that throughout the United States?

BRENT KEIME: The recent survey data that has come out says that about 9 percent of Americans use acupuncture , had tried acupuncture. The great majority of those close to 60 percent cometh to acupuncture for muscular/skeletal, neuro muscular issues. So, as far as, you know, who’s using it for pregnancy, it’s probably less than 9 percent of the moms. Although, I mean in my world, it seems like a lot of moms do. Yes, exactly because that’s, you know, a bulk of my practice.

So, it’s pretty common for me but you know, if we’re talking country wide you know you’re probably maybe looking at 5 to 6 percent of the moms maybe who were using acupuncture for issues during pregnancy. If anything gets treated more than anything else when it comes to treatment during pregnancy, it’s got to be morning sickness. It is the only ailment that most insurance companies will cover as far as a pregnancy related issue when it comes to acupuncture.

A lot of the other, you know issues that moms have during pregnancy if they see care with an acupuncturist is the insurance companies won’t pay for that treatment. But with the morning sickness, it’s pretty darn common. So it does get a good amount of press, there’s been a good amount of research on it, so, it’s definitely in the most common thing

ANNIE LAIRD: And Melissa I’d like to go on to that a little bit of you because you mentioned that you saw an acupuncturist during this pregnancy for your third baby. What had did you notice with the treatments? Did you find that it helped?

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Well first I just want to step back and then I started using acupuncture, kind of like regulate my hormones and cycles after a miscarriage and that was incredible. And I also heard it could kind of help restore my hormones to be, I don’t even want to say more normal but more regular. You would be able to tell me but I just wanted to make sure my body was healthy to have a pregnancy. And so once becoming pregnant I went through what many women would go through which is you know horrible first trimester symptoms of morning sickness and really not being able to cope with my day

ANNIE LAIRD: We should probably call it all day sickness, I think about how they created morning sickness like “Oh it’s noon, like lunchtime. Oh, I feel wonderful now” like that it just, that was a big shock to me of just you know it is all day and all night and you do feel miserable

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: You do and when you’re active and you have 2 small children at home you really don’t have time for it

ANNIE LAIRD: Exactly.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: So to speak. So I just wanted to alleviate, these symptoms I wanted to just feel better in general. And I also learned from using acupuncture before I became pregnant how important it was to kind of center myself, and I always take a nap. So, it’s a fabulous thing for me to do and I, it really helped me.

ANNIE LAIRD: You’re saying you actually nap during your, during your acupuncture treatment. Is that really common Brent for women like people fall asleep?

BRENT KEIME: Oh yes. Yeah, especially the moms who like had kids at home, it’s like their hour break where they come in down to a coma during that hour. That will be away from the kids. It’s really common.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: I mean the needles are in, sometimes the oils are used the lights were dimmed, I mean, common it’s just fabulous.

ANNIE LAIRD: I probably talk too much to fall asleep, although I think I have fallen asleep before but yeah.

BRENT KEIME: I have a like a one on one practice and there it’s really common for people to pass out you know. Because they’re in that room by themselves, it’s very quiet it’s very calm, peaceful, lights down like you said music you know. But, you know, Annie where you see me as the community clinic and so we have a group of moms who’s all getting acupunctured at the same time and that’s much more of a, you know it has a very community vibe. A lot of community acupuncture clinics are usually, you know, it’s very quiet, you go and you sit quietly in your chair. But we, we don’t encourage that there, you know, there’s a lot of bonding that goes on at that groups so there’s a lot of talking.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: That sounds nice too because you’re you see there for some symptoms and you’re dealing with other perhaps pregnant moms.

ANNIE LAIRD: I would say most of them are pregnant moms I mean I go for you know both for acupuncture and for socialization.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Absolutely.

ANNIE LAIRD: It was like you kind of get personal like “oh what’s your name?” like “what’s your baby are they a boy or a girl?” you know what’s my opinion about your midwife? It’s like you know you kind of get into each other’s business but it’s kind of nice because it is that sense of community there.

BRENT KEIME: It is, it’s you know when I first started that you know I guess I envisioned something more of a classical community acupuncture like I’m talking about where its more quiet but that, that might just really has evolved in to something o its own you know. It’s a I think most of the moms, they like that, they like that you know ability to ask questions to one another. Because you know a grand majority because I work so close with so many midwives here in San Diego a lot of them were homebirth moms. But when they come in there it’s not always the homebirth moms were coming through and so you know everybody gets a little bit different view by discussing what their planning with their pregnancy with the other mothers who are there. We usually have a midwife who’s there getting acupuncture so then we always have you know a resident expert to ask questions to as well so that it’s generally pretty good.

ANNIE LAIRD: Now we already talked about morning sickness quite in-depth, what other type of ailments do pregnant women tend to come to you during their pregnancies Brent?

BRENT KEIME: That is a, you know in the first you know it’s a trimester by trimester thing usually but for…

ANNIE LAIRD: Want to go through that by trimester yeah

BRENT KEIME: Yeah, yeah good. First trimester, usually morning sickness, that would definitely be the number one thing that I see in the first trimester. Fatigue, that’s another big one in the first trimester. Threatened miscarriage, that’s the most common time to have the threatened miscarriages in the first trimester. So sometimes all C moms coming in for that. Second trimester, you know, that’s tends to be the.

ANNIE LAIRD: No by foot, let me break it there.

BRENT KEIME: Yeah.

ANNIE LAIRD: So, for threatened miscarriage are you talking about women that are worried that they’re going to miscarry or a little bit of break through bleeding.

BRENT KEIME: The signs, yeah, usually that’s what we would call it so, if the moms starts to experience some cramping, sometimes low back pains as a common symptom with spotting or bleeding. Then that would sort of in turn the category what we call a threatened miscarriage. It’s you know the possibility of the body moving in that direction it’s showing signs that may move in that direction. So we want to slow down that process and secure the pregnancy. Second trimester, tends to be, you know, that’s the holy land everybody feels pretty good in second trimester. You know but something’s do pop up sometimes the heart burn starts to pop up. The instability in the ligaments so you start to see some low back pains some hip pain little come in to that.

ANNIE LAIRD: I was going to say that s why I kind of what I came in for you especially since I do have a one year old at home that I think also contributes to more of low back pains. Or maybe I would see that more in the third trimester.

BRENT KEIME: Yeah. I think, you know, also for moms who’ve had children in the past. They, their bodies sort of works its way, you know it kind of loosens up the relax that gets in there and things kind of loosen up quicker. The body kind of knows where it’s going and it relaxes. First time moms tend to, you know, they don’t show it soon just things sort of are more stable you know I don’t see so much in the first time moms that second trimester is, you know it is the holy land.

They have no problems most of the time. You know maybe have them come in once a month and check in and just you know we did sort of a wellness treatment just sort of keep, keep everything running optimal form. But you know second, third, fourth time moms a lot of times then that low back pain, the instabilities starts to works its way in the second trimester.

Third trimester, you know the back pain is even more common at that point in time and swelling edema, you know on the lower limbs, that’s really common that will treat there. You guys tell me, tell me what are the other problems that everybody remembers experiencing. I think it’s been a problem, I probably seen at least one mom who’s come in. Heartburn, that’s another big one. Indigestion, those are big issues as you know as the internal organ starts to run out of room, you know, those associated issues like that. A lot of times we can help with those problems.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Can I ask a quick question?

BRENT KEIME: Yeah.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: I had really bad carpal tunnel due to just swelling

BRENT KEIME: Yeah.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: And that’s something that I really, nothing helped. My doctors obviously they never recommend I just went the traditional be and they didn’t recommend acupuncture. I even ask and they’re like “Oh well you know no” I kind of blew it off. And so, you know they said basically where the, the braces, they did nothing. You know so nothing helps it besides giving birth. Is that something that-

BRENT KEIME: Yes, Yeah. I have through the best several times. And that is common especially in that third trimester, yeah. And as the body just you know, most, you know the most common area that we see the swelling is in those in the lower limbs but sometimes you’ll start to see it around the hands in the you know in the wrist and then you start to get to those carpal tunnel.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Yeah it started like around 24 weeks, it was.

BRENT KEIME: Yeah.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Next time. I’m sure it’ll happen again.

BRENT KEIME: You got it.

ANNIE LAIRD: Brent when you’re inserting the needles does that hurt, I mean, what does acupuncture, what do most people say that it feels like?

BRENT KEIME: That is the million dollar question. Everybody who wants acupuncture always wants to asks that question.

ANNIE LAIRD: Well everybody thinks about like a vaccination like immunization, like getting a shot but you didn’t.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Why would I do this voluntarily?

ANNIE LAIRD: Exactly! They have the shot in their minds when they’re five years old and they’re pulling down their trousers and you know and bracing for that, you know, I’m like “oh my gosh I need to put one in my head” you know

BRENT KEIME: The general thought that most of us have about needles is based on blood drawn, injection needles. Those are large hollow needles and they’re small, you know, but by my standards they’re large. And they actually have to tear through tissue to get in so that’s where we get that ouch feeling and we always associate needles with that. Acupuncture needles are very-very thin. I think in the typical blood drawn injection needle, I can fit about 30 of my needles.

They’re really-really tiny. So, you know I won’t say that acupuncture is without sensation but a lot of the points most people some of the points, is there inserted, people will tell me that they felt absolutely nothing whatsoever. But sometimes, if you do get the sensation, the more common sensation is a very unique sensation to acupuncture. It’s, kind of a dull heavy achy sensation. I don’t think most people would call it painful, it’s just, it’s very unique. It can be strong, you know it can get your attention for a moment but it tends to pass very-very quickly as well.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: It does usually by the time you’re inserting the next needle and next, my acupuncturist goes back and ask “is that bothering you at all?” and usually it subsided.

BRENT KEIME: Yeah. Usually it’s calm down. I mean everyone’s well you know it did, there is a sharp point on the needle to work it’s way in and every once in a while you are bound to brush past a nerve ending. And you know, there may be a moment of ouch but it’s, you know, it’s less common than people would think.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Absolutely.

BRENT KEIME: Yeah.

ANNIE LAIRD: When we come back, we will discuss the safety and the effectiveness of acupuncture. We’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

ANNIE LAIRD: Welcome back, today we’re talking about managing the discomforts of pregnancy with Brent Keime. Brent, is this treatment safe during a pregnancy?

BRENT KEIME: Definitely, yeah. Acupuncture has virtually no side effects whatsoever. You know really the only potential side effect might be to put a needle in to an internal organ, but you would have to needle really deep and have a really big needle and really be going for the guts though. And if you’re seeking care from a trained acupuncturist, that’s just not going to happen. But no other side effects that are going to come up because of the acupuncture.

ANNIE LAIRD: Is there like any lightheadedness associated you know I see sometimes, you and I have talked about offline about some of men that come in and it’s a little bit funny because you’ll see this whole room of pregnant ladies and we’re doing just fine. And then a guy comes in, and he gets light headed or it’s like an instant pass out but they faint.

BRENT KEIME: Sometimes they faint.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah they faint and it’s like embarrassing for them like “okay here’s this whole room of third trimester ladies and he’s the one that faints about it” you know, what’s that all about.

BRENT KEIME: Fainting is can be common the first time that people get acupuncture. It tends to not happen after the first time. I guess in my experience I just think that acupunctures is a very new, unique way of communicating with the body that most people are not used to. And you know we, classically we talk about that we’re working with this energy in the body that we call “chi”. And men especially young men very, you know, what we think of as like the machismo, the real go getters.

ANNIE LAIRD: Feral.

BRENT KEIME: Feral, that’s right, feral. That would be the word.

ANNIE LAIRD: Which makes it even more embarrassing with these young guys, it really does, yeah.

BRENT KEIME: They are filled with chi’s so, in acupuncture we get this energetic kind of moving in the body and sometimes it moves so much that it just overwhelms them. They have so much there to work with that it just, it knocks them out. And, you know, it’s like fainting if you ever fainted, it last for a couple of seconds and then you come to and you know it’s a bit of a shock to the system. But, yeah that’s, you know, I don’t know that I’d call that a side effect because there’s no lasting issue like that other than the embarrassment, right? In there in that group setting you know, like in the community style of acupuncture.

ANNIE LAIRD: Right.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Or waking up with a whole bunch of pregnant women. Are you okay?

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah. Pregnant woman has all thirty needles in her.

BRENT KEIME: It has happened a few times.

ANNIE LAIRD: What should a pregnant woman look for in her acupuncture care provider? Are there acupuncture care providers that specialize in pregnancy?

BRENT KEIME: Sure. Yeah, absolutely! I think, you know, it’s kind of depend on where you’re at. You know, in a state like California, some of the other states that have a lot of acupunctures, Oregon, Washington, New York State, New Mexico, these are areas with high density, with a high density of acupuncture. So, you’re bound to find people who are specializing in those areas. You know, if you’re in an area that’s more scarcely populated of acupuncturist there may not be a lot of specialization, because they’re just able to treat you know everything that comes to them.

It may not have, you know, if they want a specialized in pregnancy there may not be enough pregnant women to you know make that a viable business option for them. But here, here on the west coast you know, it’s definitely something that you see more and more. You know, most of us is we go through school to become an acupuncturist, we, you know, we all learn how to treat basically everything you know. If you ask most acupuncturists, what’s acupuncture good for? I think the short answer would say is everything. So, any acupuncturist should be able to you know treat the ailments of pregnancy. I will say that there’s a lot of acupuncturist, you know you should contact the acupuncturist that you’re thinking about because I do know many of my colleagues were very nervous about working on acupu or on excuse me working with pregnant women.

ANNIE LAIRD: What would be the nervousness about it? What are they concerned about?

BRENT KEIME: I think there sometimes is a fear of they’re going to put a needle and the baby’s just going to come shooting out, you know.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: You’re going to labor while they’re receiving treatment.

ANNIE LAIRD: I went in, she was pregnant, till I came back after the one hour treatment and there was a baby there.

BRENT KEIME: Yeah. I think that’s they, you know there’s just, you know a nervousness that they haven’t been around, you know many pregnant women and maybe that’s part of it. I , you know, I’m not exactly sure but, you know even, even some of my instructors from China, you know, some are more like “oh it’s no big deal”, it’s just like any other person. You just assess what’s going on with them and you treat them. And I had other instructors even the ones who were, who were from China with really extensive training and they were, you know, very fearful about working with pregnant women. They were just very afraid that they were going to cause some you know create some sort of issue. But, you know on my experience there’s just are no issues.

ANNIE LAIRD: Okay. How much is an acupuncture treatment cost? You know a lot of new moms are looking at how much these cost and putting these in their budget. There it need to buy things for new baby. And with that, is acupuncture is something that they can go to once and secretly, or did they need to keep coming back?

BRENT KEIME: That’s a good question. Let’s see, as far as cost goes, you know we’re seeing more of a range. Number one, you know, depending on what state you’re in, we’re seeing insurances starting to cover acupuncture more and more.

ANNIE LAIRD: That’s great.

BRENT KEIME: Again like I was talking about earlier, if you’re seeking acupuncture for treatment of some of the common ailments in pregnancy then the insurance companies may not cover it. They’ll cover it for morning sickness, maybe for some low back pains sciatic issues. But some of the other issues they may not cover. Indigestion, heartburn, the fatigue, those sorts of things they won’t cover the care for. If you’re paying out of pocket, you know there’s some ranges and it kind of depends on what type of acupuncture you’re seeking. If you’re seeking, you know, we call private room or one-on-one acupuncture, where you going to go see the acupuncturist being in your own room. For that hour you’re looking at a range probably somewhere between 60 and maybe over a hundred dollars.

ANNIE LAIRD: And we’re talking Southern California.

BRENT KEIME: Yes. Southern, yeah all states Southern California. But I think that’s, I think even at that range, I think 75 to 80 is probably a pretty sort of a middle of the line range for that type of acupuncture throughout the country. But more and more were starting to see a movement in acupuncture of businesses that we call community acupuncture, where-

ANNIE LAIRD: One of which you’re on.

BRENT KEIME: Yes.

ANNIE LAIRD: I think you run a couple of sites don’t you.

BRENT KEIME: A couple of sites I do the, I work with the community style of acupuncture and that is the, it’s kind of a large group room, people come in and they sit in usually reclining chairs where they can, we can lay them back and they can still relax. But, it’s a, because we’re not occupying a single room with a single individual, you know the business model is kind of based on bulk. You know, bring in, being able to offer a lower price and then in these ranges you’re looking at anywhere from as low as $20 up to say $50 for the community style of acupuncture. They’ll be on that range. And they’re fairly common in most of the major cities throughout the US nowadays.

ANNIE LAIRD: Great! Well thanks Brent for joining us today. For more information about Brent and his acupuncture practice as well as information about any of our panelists, visit the episode page on our website. This conversation continues for members of our Preggie Pals club. After the show Brent will discuss the use of acupuncture as way to get your baby into an operable position for birth. To join our club, visit our website www.preggiepals.com

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: We have a special guest here with us, this is Dawn Alva and Dawn is the founder of Rumina. Dawn tell us a little bit about Rumina, I know you’re the founder of the company so is your baby, so tell us a little bit about it.

DAWN ALVA: Hi! Thank you for having me Sunny. Our products are designed for moms that comfortably transition from baby to bump. So our garments are hands free nursing tanks and bras, so in your third trimester, when you’re engorged and sensitive and you need a little bit more support, we do have our tanks that are designed to transition from that bump to a lovely new postpartum nursing and beyond.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay and so you started this company, I always think it’s interesting to talk to the founders of the company that started it because there’s always so much passion behind it. So tell me, usually there’s a need for, you found a need, you’re a mom yourself so tell us a little bit about that.

DAWN ALVA: Absolutely. So, my son is going on six, so at that six years ago I was thrown into that first time mommy hood, didn’t have a clue and I was an extremely neurotic first time mom.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay.

DAWN ALVA: So, we struggled with breastfeeding. It was quite a push and pull for two and a half months. After that point he decided he prefer the lovely breast milk from the bottle. At that point I was searching frantically for something that I could do while pumping sense when you’re exclusively pumping or doing it, you know, six to eight times a day around the clock. My body did not fit those lovely busters with those holes so I would, you know, I’m sure lot’s of women are pointing in the right direction. I’ve had a different body type, so I struggled for trying to find something like a you know just use my phone and you know post a picture or say hello, you know read a magazine.

So with that, I started piecing together different fabrics to find something that I could wear and then just easily transition into you know, hands free pumping. So, within a course of a two years after my son was born, this idea kept percolating in my head, percolating in my head of how can I help moms reach their goals. I know with me I only was able to exclusively pump for five months. It was a lot of commitment and time and I really wanted to reach that my personal year goal.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay.

DAWN ALVA: So, with that, the idea for Rumina was born and it’s been a, a labor of love, no pun intended for many years. So, to find the right mix to help you know each and every mom reach her individual goals.

SUNNY GAULT: Let’s talk a little bit more about your products that you’ve created. Some of your favorites that would help pregnant mama’s out there.

DAWN ALVA: I love our relaxed, our relaxed bra. So, it’s a relaxed hands free seamless crossover bra. What that means is that, you’re able to have this lovely crossover layers so it’s actually flattering to the chest. It’s supportive enough for the night so it’s a, we call it relaxed because it’s light to moderate support. It’s made from a soft jersey knit cotton and it doesn’t have any clasp and no holes. And it has this extra layer that keeps nursing pads in place. If you’re pumping, you’re able to just transition directly into pumping in the middle of the night or if you’re nursing you just easily drop down and you’re able to do a skin to skin with your child very quickly and simply.

So that transitions from that lovely maternity to where you’re engorged all the way into that next layer of, you know level of breastfeeding and on into pumping if you so choose. As a mom, when you’re looking at different things out there on the market, the one thing I didn’t like was that lovely muffin top that we have usually postpartum, I wouldn’t one of the dress that go down to whatever size. So our nursing tanks cover and they’re nice lycra cotton so they expand with your body from the maternity all the way down to newly postpartum and beyond, but they don’t give you that tank look. You know, it’s all these extra fabric after you give birth there’s this lot of lycra that comfortably snug’s your body plus it makes me feel like it’s helping out the pillow top.

SUNNY GAULT: Sure, of course. Okay and where can our pregnant mama’s purchase your products?

DAWN ALVA: So, Rumina for moms with an S dot com. You can purchase from us direct. You can also go to www.amazon.com and we also are selling at different boutiques. So, google us and you’ll be able to find different places.

SUNNY GAULT: And I know you’re offering a special promo code for our listeners. So, for all of our listeners out there, our pregnant mamas that are interested in getting more nursing wear and checking out Rumina. If you go to their website, which is www.ruminaformoms.com , you can enter promo code “MOMMYMEDIA” for twenty percent off, so thank you so much for being here Dawn.

DAWN ALVA: Thank you for having me.

SUNNY GAULT: And being part of our show and creating products that help pregnant and breastfeeding moms.

DAWN ALVA: Thank you.

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ANNIE LAIRD: That wraps up our show for today, we appreciate you listening to Preggie Pals, don’t forget to check out our sister shows Parent Savers, for parents with newborns, infants and toddlers and our show The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies. Next week we’re talking about Breastfeeding while you’re Pregnant. This is Preggie Pals, your pregnancy, your way.

[Disclaimer]
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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