Acupuncture & Pregnancy

When the body is out of balance, pregnancy can be a time of great physical and emotional discomfort. Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture can provide a profound positive influence on this time of life, bringing positive balance to a woman's physical system, and emotional well-being by creating physical and hormonal stability.

Acupuncture alone can help to normalize the central nervous system and the endocrine system which helps to normalize hormonal function. Acupuncture can also be effectively used to treat related fatigue, anxiety, and pain during pregnancy.

Regular acupuncture during the period of pregnancy can set a strong stable foundation for a more comfortable pregnancy and easier birth experience. Several European studies found that once a week acupuncture during the last month of pregnancy had significantly shorter labor than women who did not receive any acupuncture.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture alone has been found useful for relieving labor pain, nausea, vomiting and significantly reducing the duration of labor. There is also strong evidence that acupuncture can help with a breech birth. Here's a list of conditions encountered during pregnancy for which acupuncture can be helpful.

  • anemia
  • anxiety/depression
  • breech presentation
  • constipation
  • pain: back pain, sciatica
  • gestational diabetes
  • heartburn
  • high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia)
  • insomnia
  • labor issues: pre-term labor, delayed labor
  • labor pain
  • lactation problems
  • low energy
  • PUPPs & other pregnancy-related skin conditions
  • certain types of threatened miscarriage
  • nausea, vomiting, and hyperemesis gravidarum
  • posterior presentation
  • postpartum depression
  • symphysis pubis pain

Acupuncture during the three trimesters

Acupuncture during the first trimester of pregnancy sets a strong foundation for the health and well-being of both mother and child during pregnancy. During this time, acupuncture addresses typical early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and helps prevent miscarriage. During the second trimester, acupuncture serves to maintain balance and bring relief from many common complaints of pregnancy. During the third trimester, acupuncture prepares the body for labor and delivery. Treatment for breech presentation or labor induction may be given if needed.

Postpartum Acupuncture

Postpartum acupuncture assists reinstating balance and well-being. Some of the postpartum conditions that acupuncture can treat are:

  • abdominal pain
  • decreased energy and vitality
  • hormonal imbalances
  • lactation problems
  • mastitis
  • night sweats
  • persistent bleeding
  • postpartum depression
Sources:

www.acupuncturetoday.com
Acupuncture & Fertility pamphlet from Acupuncture Media Works, LLC, (2005).
Acupuncture: Review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2002. www.who.int/medicines