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I am overdue in writing this article. My patients have been asking when they can expect some more wellness tidbits, and I am thrilled that people follow my articles and look forward to reading more. I have a good excuse for being tardy with my articles, though. And the topic this week is actually about being overdue!

I just returned from Israel, where we celebrated the most incredible simcha–the birth of our first grandchild! With gratitude to G‑d, my oldest daughter and son-in-law, Shayna and Ben Miller, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy just two weeks ago. Many of my friends have told me this is the best club to join–and they are certainly right! There are really no words to describe the beauty of an innocent life brought into this world. To hold and snuggle him tightly in my arms, looking at him and feeling all the dreams his parents and extended family have for this little guy’s future, is truly awe-inspiring. There aren’t adequate words to describe the feeling and the immense amount of love poured into this little life. For those of you with me in this special club, I am sure you agree.

I believe every newborn baby holds a special place in a grandparent’s heart. This birth was a special, momentous occasion for me in particular. My daughter is a naturalist. If you are familiar with the Carlebach lifestyle in Tekoa, where Shayna and Ben live, then you can understand the beautiful, carefree lifestyle that the community embraces in their chesed towards one another and in their spirituality. They also aim for a natural lifestyle, which suits my daughter well. She was looking forward to a natural delivery with no medical intervention, as much as medically possible. She gave me the beautiful gift of asking that I participate in both the preparation for the birth of my grandson and the entire labor and delivery as we welcomed him into this world.

I was able to utilize acupuncture and electric stimulation on the needles to help promote the onset of labor. I have helped initiate labor for many of my patients who were overdue–or those who’ve just had it emotionally or physically–when their obstetrician gave us the go-ahead and said it was safe to proceed. Acupuncture is a safe, natural method to allow the body to slowly and naturally prepare for childbirth. There are acupuncture points utilized to encourage the body to push the baby to descend into the birth canal, as well as to relax the body in readiness for birth. Additionally, acupuncture can help ensure an easier delivery.

As is common in many first births, my daughter was a few days overdue. Her doula gave the go-ahead that it was safe to proceed with natural encouragement to initiate labor. Utilizing various acupuncture points, we did a treatment at home that helped her body start having contractions, allowing her body to gently get ready for the job ahead. We did a second, stronger treatment which helped her move into full labor with strong contractions.

From the moment I joined her in the hospital, I was filled with an incredible sense of pride in my daughter. She was so strong and determined to listen to her encouraging husband, doula, and mom, who were all there to support her in her desire to have a completely natural birthing experience. It is not easy to watch your daughter in pain, but knowing that it will all be worthwhile certainly helps. She did not waver in her commitment to do what she felt was best for her baby. She chose not to have any medical intervention so as not to affect the baby’s alertness at all. At one point, when labor slowed in its progression, I again treated her with acupuncture and taped the needles in place for a more effective result. This helped speed up the remainder of the time until my daughter was ready to deliver my grandson into this world.

At every moment, she showed so much control and determination, which was impressive beyond words. While acupuncture may have helped ease everything along its natural course, full credit is due to my daughter.

I certainly wish I had known about acupuncture earlier on. I would have undoubtedly utilized it for my own deliveries, the first of which was 23 years ago. In my practice, I am fortunate to be able to assist women with fertility concerns, as well as symptoms during pregnancy that include nausea, fatigue, and back pain. I also utilize acupuncture and moxibustion to turn a breech baby. Acupuncture is beneficial in initiating a natural induction and assisting with postpartum recovery. It is a huge part of my practice, and one that I take great enjoyment in.

Being present at and assisting in the birth of one’s own grandchild is truly magical. I am so privileged that my daughter welcomed me into this amazing opportunity, and I feel so grateful that I was able to help her and be with her at a most special, beautiful, and holy time of her life. The berachot and dreams I have for this precious little baby go on and on. I am sure he is bound for great things in life! He is already quite curious and alert to everything taking place around him. I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for him, and I hope he will value our special bond as much as I always will.