Acupuncture for Every Stage of Pregnancy
Written by: Anna Totzke
During pregnancy changes can be felt on all levels for the mother, creating many feelings ranging across the spectrum from anxiety to excitement. Within my practice, it is such an honour working with women throughout their pregnancies and seeing so many positive shifts from pain to energy levels, to turning a breech baby, to preparing for a smooth labour.
Acupuncture has shown to be a helpful and safe practice of the treatment of conditions throughout pregnancy ranging from emotional to physical discomforts. From the early stages of pregnancy through labour and beyond, many women benefit from acupuncture.
In early pregnancy, as your body and hormone levels change, many women experience nausea and morning sickness. At this time, acupuncture can help relax the body, regulate hormones, reduce stress and anxiety, help with exhaustion, and alleviate/ eliminate nausea and vomiting.
As your baby develops, many women experience sciatica, hip and pelvic pain as the tendons and ligaments loosen. Acupuncture can be very helpful in treating these conditions. Other conditions treated throughout pregnancy are: Bleeding and Threatened Miscarriage, Sciatica, Heartburn, Constipation, Insomnia, Edema, Sinusitis, Pregnancy Induced Hyertension, UTI, Anemia, Haemorrhoids, Vulval Varices, Headaches
Breech and Malpresentation Babies
From 34 weeks on, where the baby has not yet turned into proper position, a very simple series of moxibustion treatments (moxibustion refers to the burning of moxa, prepared from mugwort leaves), helps turn the baby into proper position.
This treatment is always quite interesting for the mother in that by simply warming the side of the baby toe with moxa, she gets quite a reaction from the baby. Over several days of applying this treatment, the baby becomes more and more active during this treatment and in majority of the cases turns into proper position.
Pre-Birth Acupuncture: Getting Into the Zone
Beginning at weeks 36 or 37, weekly acupuncture treatments can begin until labor begins. These sessions encourage a smoother labour by balancing hormones, improving the blood flow to the reproductive organs that help ripen the cervix. It also helps calm the mind and body to prepare for the birthing experience. It is good to be feeling your best when you go into labour.
Research shows that theses treatments have many positive effect including: a shorter duration of labour, 35% reduction in medical inductions, 32% lower cesarean rates, 31% reduction in requests for epidural, and an overall increase in natural vaginal deliveries.
Acupuncture provides a gentle labour inducement when the baby is over due or if a medical inducement is ordered. It usually consists of 1-3 acupuncture treatments over 3 consecutive days or the 3 days leading up to a medical induction.
Creating a stress-free environment, having trust in the process of pregnancy and birthing helps for a smoother and enjoyable pregnancy. Acupuncture calms the mind, providing deep relaxation and helps relieves many pregnancy conditions. As I have heard over and over again, “I wish I knew about acupuncture in my first pregnancy!”
If you have any questions about acupuncture during pregnancy please feel free to contact: Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist. firstname.lastname@example.org
564-572 Weber Street North, Unit 3A Waterloo, Ontario N2L5C6