Can I have acupuncture during pregnancy?
This is one of the questions we get asked the most commonly in clinic! The answer is a definite YES. At the time of pregnancy when you are limited in taking medications for your ailments, acupuncture can be a great substitute.
When should I have pregnancy acupuncture?
Here are a few of the conditions we see a lot of in clinic:
- Morning Sickness/Nausea: Morning sickness is often one of the earliest signs of pregnancy although not all women experience it. It may range from a mild nausea to very severe and frequent vomiting. It usually last for about 3 months but in severe cases it may go on for a long time or even the whole pregnancy. In spite of its name, ‘morning sickness’ can occur at any time of the day, although it is usually more pronounced in the morning. Morning sickness is often related to the pre-existing state of the woman’s digestive system. With acupuncture we aim to restore the balance in the digestive system and reduce the symptoms.
- Constipation during pregnancy is a common complaint. From a Western perspective this is due to the relaxant effect of progesterone on smooth muscles and to pressure of the enlarged uterus. Other contributing factors are diet, emotional stress, lack of exercise or working long hours. A common complication of constipation during pregnancy is the development of haemorrhoids.
- Back Pain: Pain in the lower torso, lower back and pelvic girdle is frequently experienced by pregnant women. Researches in New Zealand have just conducted a study* and have found acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for low back pain during pregnancy. Acupuncture provides an important alternative treatment option because many common prescription drugs and over the counter analgesics are not recommended during pregnancy. * Soliday E. Betts D. “Treating Pain in Pregnancy with Acupuncture: Observational Study Results from a Free Clinic in New Zealand” Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies 2018;11 (1):25e30.
- Mental Health problems like Depression and Anxiety. Research shows that up to 33 percent of women experience clinical depression or an anxiety disorder at some point during pregnancy. However not many woman seek treatment because of the myth that pregnant woman must be happy. A lot of woman feel ashamed to bring up their true feelings and suffer in silence. Acupuncture is a great way to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression and most woman find having acupuncture a very relaxing experience.
- Breech Babies. Under normal circumstances between 28 – 32 weeks the baby sinks down, head first into the pelvis in preparation for birth. Around 15% of all babies will be in a breech position, which means that the baby is presenting with its buttock, knees or feet pointing down. The majority of breech babies will turn spontaneously before birth. If the baby hasn’t turned by 34 weeks we use moxibustion treatment to help turn the baby. Moxibustion is an externally applied treatment using a herbal stick that is lit and held over acupuncture points on the feet. This can be done daily at home and during a consultation we will instruct women how to apply this technique safely.
- Pregnancy support. A lot of changes take place in a woman’s body during pregnancy and the development of the baby over the 9 months is a very delicate process. The woman’s lifestyle, diet and emotions all affect the baby and by paying attention to these aspects of her life the expectant mother can affect the baby’s development positively. We suggest woman to be proactive and get an acupuncture treatment once a month during pregnancy to maintain good health and prevent any problems. At the final stages of pregnancy, in the last 4 weeks, we usually increase the frequency of treatment to once a week so that we can best prepare for delivery. Acupuncture can also be used for labour induction.
- Labour Preparation & Induction: At the final stages of pregnancy, in the last 6 weeks, we usually increase the frequency of treatment to once a week so that we can best prepare for delivery. Acupuncture can also be used for labour induction.
Where can I get more information about acupuncture in pregnancy?
This blog lists some of the frequently seen pregnancy issues in our clinic however there are a lot of other problems we can help with. To find out if acupuncture could help you please feel free to get in touch so we can privately discuss your needs. Call us on 0414 067 874 or you can send us an email.
How do I book my pregnancy acupuncture treatment?