Acupuncture during Pregnancy
The joy and anticipation of new life often comes with some not-so-nice symptoms including nausea, constipation, back pain, pelvic pain, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Did you know that acupuncture can help?
Acupuncture is a safe, gentle and effective way to support the body through the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy, especially since Western medications are not advised during this time. Acupuncture is also extremely helpful during the labor and postpartum period.
During the first trimester, seeing an acupuncturist as soon as any unwanted issues appear can help reduce the severity of symptoms and keep others at bay. Most women are advised to come every week or at least every other until they feel better.
By the second trimester, many women report feeling better. During this time, moms-to-be are advised to come in for a monthly “tune-up” to keep the body running at it’s best and to allow mom-to-be to enjoy this amazing time.
In the third trimester, acupuncture can help with the aches and pains associated with a growing belly- sciatica, pelvic pain, fatigue, heartburn, etc. If your baby is presenting in breech position, coming in for a treatment between weeks 32-34 can help turn the baby to head-down. Studies show that acupuncture and moxibustion (the use of a Chinese herb similar burned like incense on the tip of the pinky toe) is more effective (and much more comfortable) than the External Cephalic Version (ECV).
After week 37, it is recommended that women come 1-2 times weekly to help prepare the body for labor. Studies show that acupuncture can help stimulate the uterus and soften the cervix, reduce medical induction rates, reduce epidural use and reduce labor time. While acupuncture at 40+ weeks to help avoid medical induction can be effective, it is recommended that women start treatments earlier to allow the body time to respond.
In the postpartum period, your body is working hard to return to it’s normal function, while also providing nourishment for the new bundle of joy. This time can be very hard for new moms and acupuncture can help restore energy, balance emotions, treat fatigue and restore vitality. It’s important for new moms to remember that they need to take care of themselves in order to best take care of their new babies.
As always, it’s important to make sure your acupuncturist is licensed by your state board and nationally certified by the NCCAOM.
To make an appointment at Dr Zhou’s Acupuncture, Pain Management and Natural Wellness Clinic, click here.