While traditional Chinese medicine emphasises the importance of preventive care following childbirth, many women only seek treatment if problems arise. Urinary incontinence is a common complication following childbirth. It is estimated to affect one third of women and can occur after a uneventful pregnancy and delivery. This can be bladder leakage under stress such as coughing or exercise, or urge related where there is a sudden urge to urinate and leakage before the women can reach a toilet. Although women are frequently reassured this will resolve within a year of delivery, one third to one half of women with post-partum incontinence report some degree of bladder leakage five years later, with up 20 percent reporting this as "socially bothersome."
This one hour presentation uses a case history and the latest research to outline the potential for promoting acupuncture as a relevant treatment for post-partum urinary stress and urge incontinence. If promoted, it is likely that women would actively seek out treatment for this common complication, allowing practitioners to offer additional treatment and advice relevant to improving maternal health in this postpartum period.
Debra graduated from the London College of Acupuncture in 1989. With a practice based in women’s health she commenced acupuncture courses for midwives in 1997. This led to publications on the use of acupuncture and acupressure in obstetric practice including the text book “The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth” in 2006, which has been translated into German and French.
Debra completed her PhD on the use of acupuncture in threatened miscarriage in 2014 through the University of Western Sydney and is currently the Director of Postgraduate Programmes for an online Masters course through New Zealand School Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
She is also a clinical supervisor at a hospital antenatal acupuncture clinic in New Zealand, and lectures internationally on the use of acupuncture in obstetric care. She currently resides with her husband and three children in Wellington, New Zealand.