Acupuncture is an ideal treatment during pregnancy and childbirth, offering women drug-free relief for a myriad of complaints that can occur during a normal pregnancy. A noninvasive treatment; we use hair thin sterile single use needles to stimulate certain points and create a positive reaction. I have found that the increased blood flow of pregnancy enhances the effects of acupuncture with fewer needles and less treatments required.
Research shows that acupuncture may be very beneficial in helping treat the following conditions that can occur during a normal pregnancy;
Nausea and vomiting
Pregnancy induced hypertension
Anxiety and depression
Fatigue and exhaustion
Acupuncture is a great support during the first trimester, especially for women who suffer from recurrent miscarriages. It is recognised that 50% of early miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities. The remaining 50% can be positively affected by acupuncture. Progesterone supports the fetus until 12 weeks when the placenta is fully-grown and takes over. Stress negatively affects progesterone with the increase of cortisol in the body. The treatment protocol for supporting early pregnancy is to reduce stress, calm the mind, balance the hormones and treat any underlying disharmony. Treatment is usually continued on a weekly basis for the first trimester, this gives a chance to also support any nausea and fatigue.
Pregnancy related lower back and pubic pain
This is something many women encounter during pregnancy. It is a result of the hormone relaxin releasing the ligaments in the pelvis in preparation for the growing baby and birthing process. This, as well as moving centre of gravity, can lead to muscle tightness and pain. This is not a pathological injury and can be eased quickly with acupuncture.
Pre birth treatment
Acupuncture for pre-birth treatment is a regular protocol we recommend to all of our pregnant women. A group of midwives in Wellington noticed that women receiving pre-birth acupuncture consistently had more efficient labours, a reduction in length of labour and medical interventions. They did a naturalistic observational study of 169 women who received treatment over a 4-month period. The main outcome measures recorded were gestation of women at onset of labour, and interventions of inductions, epidurals and caesarean sections. When compared to local regional rate there was a 35% reduction in the number of inductions, the reduction was 43% for first time mothers, a 31% reduction in epidurals, a 32% reduction in emergency C sections and a 9% increase in normal vaginal births.
This study also showed that the duration of labour for the women receiving acupuncture treatment was significantly shorter to those who did not.. Labour is always an unknown, especially for first time mothers but routine acupuncture from 36 weeks is a great support and is conducive to a more efficient labour.
As well it helps you enter the 4th stage of labour when you are home with a newborn in a healthier state.
Acupuncture treatment is a wonderful way to recover post vaginal birth or a C-section, it can also help with lactation issues. We highly recommend you contact us during your pregnancy to find out how we can support you during and after labour.
Acupuncture for breech babies
Acupuncture for breech babies is a take home treatment. In general a consultation is given to check the general health of the patient and any possible underlying conditions that need to be treated, as well any possible red-flags. During this treatment the client is given a moxabustion stick to take home and burn over acupuncture point BL-67 Zhiyin, the outside edge of the little toe, this is demonstrated in clinic. We also recommend looking at this resource to add to your treatment protocol. Women often mention during the moxa treatment that their babies are very active and they can feel them trying to turn. This treatment also aids with external cephalic version (ECV) if required.
If you are having a difficult time with your pregnancy or looking for a healthy supplementation treatment contact us to ask how acupuncture could help you.