Many women have been turning to acupuncture treatment during pregnancy because it is a natural and effective way to treat a number of issues they might face while pregnant. Recently I've seen a significant increase in the number of Western medical doctors sending prenatal patients my way because of this. Last year I published a list of the most common things pregnant women seek out acupuncture for. Here it is if you missed it!
NAUSEA & VOMITING
Although they call it "morning sickness," it can happen at any time of day or night. Women may experience morning sickness in different ways. There are specific acupuncture points on the body to relieve nausea and vomiting based on specific symptoms.
Acupuncture is effective in treating many digestive disorders, including acid reflux or heartburn, which is common for women who are later into their pregnancy.
Low back pain, sciatica, pubic, hip, and leg pain usually respond well to acupuncture treatment. Pretty much any pain experienced during pregnancy, we'll treat.
This is another common occurrence during pregnancy. It's usually seen later on due to swelling in the hands and wrists. Acupuncture can help ease the discomfort and can help to reduce swelling.
STRESS, ANXIETY, & DEPRESSION
Hormonal changes at this time are going to have an effect on emotions. For some women these feelings become overwhelming, resulting in consistent or frequent periods of anxiety or depression. Acupuncture treatment can be a tool to help you navigate this time.
There are a variety of reasons why women find it difficult to sleep soundly during pregnancy. Nausea, heartburn, frequent urination, stress, or just finding it hard to get comfortable are some of the reasons you might not get the best nights rest. With acupuncture, we can address some of theses issues. Acupuncture also calms the nervous system which gives patients better sleep in general.
Fatigue can be a real problem for some women in the beginning of pregnancy. Not a big surprise since the body is going through vast hormonal changes. If there's a disharmony in the body that is causing fatigue or exhaustion, acupuncture can help correct it.
A very common occurrence during pregnancy as well as postpartum. There are acupuncture points that actually help your body resolve hemorrhoids and acupuncture can treat underlying conditions such as constipation which might be contributing to them.
Acupuncture can help to turn a breech baby. Burning an herb called moxa near a specific acupuncture point encourages the baby to turn to a head down position. For a little more information on this, click here.
Mild edema is considered normal in the later part of pregnancy, but it can get pretty uncomfortable for some women. Acupuncture can sometimes help reduce fluid retention.
PREGNANCY INDUCED HYPERTENSION (HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE)
When treated at the initial stages, positive changes are achievable with acupuncture so that the body may normalize and allow women to progress naturally through the rest of the pregnancy. It is very important that they are monitored by their midwife or doctor alongside acupuncture treatment.
Research has demonstrated that the average duration of labor of women who had received pre-birth acupuncture was reduced by a few hours compared to the group who had not. It was also observed that these women had reduced rates of medical intervention during delivery.
I like to start labor preparation during week 36 and treat once a week up until delivery. In addition to acupuncture and moxa therapy, I give the mom-to-be some homework she can do at home, as well as a packet containing acupressure points that can be used by her partner to help with pain during labor and delivery.