- Fertility- Acupuncture can help regulate hormones and the menstrual cycle, decrease stress, increase blood flow to the uterus to increase chances of conception and decrease rates of frequent miscarriage. If you are undergoing IUI or IVF treatments, studies have shown acupuncture can increase the success of these treatments by up to 60%. Acupuncture can also improve sperm quality in men.
- Morning Sickness- A large percentage of women experience some degree of nausea or morning sickness during the first trimester, and sometimes beyond, which can be managed with regular acupuncture treatments.
- Musculoskeletal Pain and Headaches- As your baby grows and changes position, more pressure in the lower back, pelvis and other weight bearing joints is common. Changes in hormones and blood volume can lead to frequent headaches. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also common with the changes of pregnancy. Acupuncture can help to alleviate or reduce these aches and pains.
- Energy- Lack of sleep along with normal hormonal changes during pregnancy can leave one feeling exhausted. Acupuncture will help to balance and recharge your energy during this time of rapid change for your body.
- Heartburn and Constipation- Digestive symptoms may also come and go during pregnancy, which can be managed with acupuncture, diet and hydration.
- Anxiety and Depression- Emotional ups and downs are very common during pregnancy due to the rapid hormonal changes that are taking place, and the fact that you are growing a human! A new baby is also a big life change, which can become stressful and overwhelming at times. Regular acupuncture treatment during pregnancy can help your body discharge from external and internal stressors, which is the greatest gift you can give to your growing child. Stress greatly affects your growing baby, and adequate time should be scheduled for self-care and stress management for mom, both during and after pregnancy. Stress also negatively affects the production of the hormone oxytocin, which is an essential part of a healthy pregnancy, labor and post-partum period.
- Breech Babies- If the baby is still in the breech position (feet or bottom down) when a pregnant woman is at 34 weeks, a technique in Chinese medicine involving moxibustion can be used to help turn the baby into the ideal position for labor and birth. For more information and your options if your baby is breech, please visit Certified Birth Instructor, Lauren McClain's website.
- Labor- Acupuncture can help to prepare the body for labor, which can be quite long normally for first time mothers, and can help initiate labor in babies who are ready to emerge. A long labor does not always mean medical intervention is necessary, but a long labor does require strength and focus, which need to be cultivated during pregnancy. Acupuncture, natural childbirth education, prenatal yoga and a strong support system (doulas) can all help you prepare for natural labor and childbirth.
- Post-partum and Breastfeeding Support- After having a child, there are many common issues that may arise and need to be taken care of so mom can fully recover and care for her baby. Pain, night sweats, insufficient lactation, mastitis and post-partum depression are not uncommon once baby arrives. Some practitioners are willing to provide treatments in the home initially so mother can continue to rest and bond with her new baby.
- C-section Recovery- If a mother ends up having a cesarean section delivery, more time and care will be needed to help her recover fully. A c-section is major abdominal surgery, which takes at least 6-8 weeks to recover from and increases the chance of other post-partum complications. Scars that are created from this surgery also benefit greatly from acupuncture treatment, especially if the scar is hard or dimpled after healing.
Acupuncture is safe & effective for treating women's health, fertility and all stages of pregnancy and the post-partum period. I received acupuncture during each trimester of my pregnancy and post-partum, which helped me achieve the natural birth I wanted and eased my transition into motherhood. Here is a list of common issues surrounding pregnancy that acupuncture can help with.
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