PREGNANCY AND ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture has a long history of effective use during pregnancy. It is safe, gentle and provides woman with a drug free treatment, which can be successful in treating a wide range of pregnancy related conditions. 

 

Nausea and Vomiting – Can be minor or quite hindering, acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry reaching in early pregnancy.

 

Heartburn – Can occur at many stages throughout pregnancy but can be especially problematic during the third trimester. With careful diet monitoring, in conjunction with acupuncture, symptoms can decrease, usually once the baby moves lower in the pelvis.

 

Back, hip and pelvic pain  – There are a range of musculoskeletal conditions that acupuncture can help treat, which are usually very straightforward and medication free. 

 

Fatigue, Exhaustion and Anaemia – All three conditions can occur in early stages of pregnancy. To help cope with the fatigue of early pregnancy many women found acupuncture beneficial. At later stages of pregnancy if these problems continue acupuncture in conjunction with moxa and with dietary management will help with energy levels. 

 

Insomnia – Leaving insomnia untreated during pregnancy has the potential to exhaust women. It is vital for women to be at their best leading up to birth and also for post birth recovery. Acupuncture can help alleviate symptoms of insomnia.

 

Anxiety and Depression – Pregnant woman frequently present with underlying emotional patterns or disharmony, so although it may not be a predominant issue it can be addressed and successfully treated with acupuncture. 

 

Sinusitis – During pregnancy it is thought that nasal congestion and sinusitis can be caused by hormonal changes. The symptoms can be treated with dietary monitoring and acupuncture.

 

Oedema – During pregnancy the body can produces extra fluid, which manifests as swelling of the hands and feet. Women usually seek acupuncture treatment in later stages of pregnancy as the body struggles to cope with the excess fluid.  

 

Pre-birth Acupuncture

To help prepare women for childbirth, pre-birth acupuncture is used in the final weeks of pregnancy. Pre-birth treatment is recommended once a week from 36 weeks, or as needed determined by your acupuncture specialist. Depending on a woman’s birth plan and pregnancy history different points are used to prepare for labour. These include points to help position the baby in the best position for labour, ripening of the cervix and to help with producing optimal energy, stamina to enter the birthing process and shortening the time of labour.  

 

Debra Betts, together with midwife Sue Lennox, (2006), found that when comparing women who had received acupuncture once a week in the month leading up to their due date, with women who hadn’t, tended to have shorter labours, fewer medical inductions and fewer emergency caesareans. Other research by Kubista and Kucera as cited in Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth by Debra Betts (p. 139, 2006) suggests the average time of labour for woman who had received pre-birth acupuncture and were giving birth for the first time, was significantly reduced, by nearly an hour and a half.

 

If you're ready to make an appointment    

 

For alternative appointment times or any questions please call the clinic on 9387 3998

Breech and Posterior Positions

For breech babies, treatment commences ideally, between 34 – 36 week gestation. This usually consists of a one off treatment followed by women being shown how to administer treatment themselves at home with a moxa stick. A moxa stick is a herb that is shaped into a cigar, it is lit and held over specific points of the body to stimulate the acupuncture points.  

 

Induction 

A medical induction refers to initiating labour artificially, usually with the use of prostaglandins and possibly oxytocin. Instead, traditional Chinese acupuncture can be used to induce labour in a drug free treatment. Women should try to be treated before a medical induction is planned. Acupuncture may be followed by a self-treatment of acupressure at home. Although labour may not commence freely it was shown that acupuncture helped women to have a more efficient labour and women also needed less medical intervention.

 

If you have any questions please call 9387 3998, we are happy to answer your questions.

 

Postnatal Care

Our acupuncture specialist has techniques to promote recovery; advice on diet and the use of specific strengthening and blood building herbs. Other conditions that can be helped with acupuncture include:

  • Insufficient lactation
  • Postnatal depression
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Night Sweats
  • Mastitis

Postnatal Recovery

There is a long documented history in traditional Chinese medicine of women taking dietary remedies to encourage lactation and to promote their recovery from childbirth or a miscarriage. 

 

Rest and Recovery Time

An important part of traditional Chinese medicine is ensuring women completely recover from childbirth. This is usually seen as a 30-day period, but some Chinese texts suggest up to a 100-day period. Although this may seem excessive, it is a reasonable period if it is considered not only for the recovery of giving birth but also the nine months of pregnancy. There are steps that can be taken to aid the process of recovery, taking physical rest at every opportunity, taking part in light exercise (but not exhausting the body by trying to get back into shape), and proper attention is directed towards the diet, for building blood and energy. 

 

We suggest that acupuncture treatment is given once a week commencing 2 weeks after the birth, for a total of 3 weeks to increase stamina and aid an efficient recovery. Acupuncture can also be useful at this time to help balance emotions, assist perineal healing and help with breast-feeding problems.