A grand adventure is about to begin
Winnie the Pooh
Acupuncture and pregnancy
Are you struggling with your pregnancy, physically, emotionally and/or mentally?
Do you have morning sickness, nausea or breast tenderness?
Or maybe you are experiencing back ache, leg cramps or having difficulty sleeping?
Do you have heartburn, constipation or other digestive issues?
Pregnancy can be an enormously exciting and emotional period, but at times it can be a bit scary. Some women sail through pregnancy, but I think for most of us at some point or another we’ve experienced incredible tiredness, a roller coaster of emotions, heartburn, cravings and weird aches and pains. Pregnancy is a normal physiological state, however women tend to have more issues during pregnancy due to the hormonal changes, increase in blood, as well as the physical and mechanical changes.
A safe option during pregnancy
Acupuncture is very safe to have during pregnancy and is an effective option at a time when many women choose to avoid taking medicine and want their pregnancy to be as natural as possible. It is essential that you choose an acupuncturist who is trained and a member of a professional body such as the British Acupuncture Council.
Supporting mums-to-be during all stages of pregnancy
There is no greater privilege than treating a pregnant mum-to-be and then meeting their new baby. I have worked with many different patients through different stages of their pregnancies and anecdotally, patients who have regular treatment throughout their pregnancy seem to report fewer pregnancy symptoms, positive birth experiences, fewer interventions, calmer babies and better breastfeeding.
In New Zealand in 2004 a study was undertaken looking at 169 women who received pre-birth acupuncture given by midwives. Compared to local population rates there was an overall:
• 35% reduction in the number of inductions
• 31% reduction in the epidural rate
• Compared with midwifery only care a 32% reduction in emergency caesarean delivery
• 9% increase in normal vaginal births
The pre-birth treatment consists of weekly treatments from week 37 to week 40. The treatments are designed to:
• enhance optimal foetal position
• prepare the pelvis for labour and help ripen the cervix
• help build the energy reserves of the mother
Depending on your condition a 40-week treatment may be recommended and induction by acupuncture can be done from week 41.
Acupuncture can help to give relief for a range of pregnancy related conditions
What is great about Acupuncture is that many conditions which routinely crop up during pregnancy would benefit from this natural solution:
• Back ache
• Difficulty sleeping
• High and low blood pressure
• Leg cramps
• Migraine and other headaches
• Morning sickness and nausea
• Pelvic pain (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction)
• Tender breasts
• Varicose veins
Acupuncture to turn breech babies
While the majority of breech babies turn spontaneously before birth, the longer a baby stays in the breech position with conditions becoming more cramped, the less likely it will be able to turn on its own volition.
An adjunct technique to acupuncture called moxibustion (Moxa) has been used for many centuries to turn breech babies. I use Moxa on a regular basis and it is an effective, safe, non-invasive treatment for women to consider during pregnancy should they wish to attempt to turn their baby naturally and avoid restricting their birthing options.
According to traditional chinese medicine (TCM) theory, moxa has a tonifying and warming effect which promotes movement and activity. The nature of heat is also rising. This warming and raising effect helps to encourage the baby to become more active and lift its bottom up to gain adequate momentum to summersault into the head down position.
Please note: this information is for general advice only and women should check with their midwife before attempting to use moxibustion treatment to turn their baby to ensure that no contraindications apply.
Inducing labour after the due date
Acupuncture can be used to help to induce labour in overdue pregnancies and reduce stress and anxiety.
It should only be used for induction when the mother has passed her due date, and then only with the consent of the obstetric team in charge of the birth to ensure that all medical factors are considered.
BSc (Hons) LicAc
Member of the British Acupuncture Council
Maternity Acupuncture, pregnancy, labour and postpartum Post Graduate Cert – Debra Betts
Obstetric Acupuncture Module – Jill Glover
After the birth
I love meeting my patient’s new babies and providing them with a space to rest and recover after giving birth. My aim is to help to increase your energy levels, promote healing and to combat the ‘baby blues’. Acupuncture may be helpful in increasing milk production, treating mastitis and any aches and pains that you might have, especially if you had any interventions during the birth of your child.
To find out more or for just a chat?
If you would like to discuss how acupuncture might be able to help you during your pregnancy, or your partners. If you’d like some advice or you’d like to know what to expect, please just give me a call on Tel: 07535 947474 / 01494 771324 or drop me a line via my Contact Page.