• Kelly Goorts

How Acupuncture assists during Pregnancy

Updated: Feb 10

Pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal recovery are viewed in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a window of opportunity to enhance the woman’s well-being. Conversely, if adequate care is not taken the resulting problems may continue long after the birth. Value is therefore placed on promoting preventive care to strengthen the mother and baby, as well as dealing with problems as they occur during pregnancy.


There can be times where you do not feel there is many options to help you with some of the imbalances you are feeling. Your body is going through so many changes at this time, and we are here to help bring them back into alignment.


Acupuncture can be used in a variety of ways to promote fetal and maternal health, as well as it offers a safe, effective and drug-free option to help treat so many conditions/imbalances that are happening in the body.


Below is a graphic to help just highlight a few of the areas in which acupuncture can help you during your pregnancy.


Below is a little more detail on specific conditions and how acupuncture can help you:


NAUSEA DURING PREGNANCY

Acupuncture is often very effective in reducing both the severity and incidence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Research has shown that women receiving traditional acupuncture (where points were chosen according to an individual diagnosis) experienced faster relief when compared to those groups who did not receive acupuncture.

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MUSCULAR AND SKELETAL PAIN

Back pain, rib pain, sciatica and symphysis pubis pain are common in pregnancy and can all be markedly reduced with acupuncture.

BREACH AND POSTERIOR BABIES

The ideal treatment of moxibustion at 34 –35 weeks have a significant effect in helping to turn breech babies, but can still be useful when used later in the pregnancy. Techniques can also help babies that are not in the optimal position prior to birth, such as those in a posterior position

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HYPERTENSION

Acupuncture can have an important role in assisting to reduce high blood pressure, especially if treatment is commenced early when hypertension is first noted. The effectiveness of acupuncture will be reflected in the improved blood pressure readings and blood tests used by midwives and specialists to detect possible complications. As hypertension has the potential to escalate quickly, ongoing medical monitoring remains essential throughout pregnancy.

LABOUR PREPARATION

During the second and early part of the third trimester, it is recommended to start acupuncture treatments, to help support the mother and baby during the pregnancy. Then once patients are three to four weeks prior to the due date a treatment to prepare the pelvis and cervix can be commenced. This is followed by one treatment per week, and possibly two treatments per week closer to the due date until labour begins.

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INDUCTION

Acupuncture can provide a gentle inducement to labour if the baby is overdue and can be an effective alternative to a medical induction.

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PAIN RELIEF DURING LABOUR

Acupuncture offers drug-free alternatives for pain relief during labour, as well acupressure provides similar results with the advantage that support people can use it during labour.

OTHER PREGNANCY PROBLEMS

Treatment can be used to relieve a variety of conditions including:

  • Anemia

  • Anxiety

  • Constipation

  • Carpal Tunnel syndrome

  • Heartburn

  • Hemorrhoids

  • Insomnia

  • Edema

  • Headaches

  • Sinus problems

  • Threatened miscarriage

  • Tiredness and exhaustion

  • Thrush

POSTNATAL RECOVERY

Acupuncture has techniques to promote recovery; these include “mother warming” treatments that can be given by a partner, advice on diet and the use of specific strengthening and blood building herbs. Other conditions that can be helped by acupuncture include; insufficient lactation, wound healing and scar tissue repair, postnatal depression and urinary incontinence.

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