Pregnancy brings physical discomforts, wonderful though the prospect of eventually giving birth is. To cushion these pregnancy concerns, moms may opt for the road less traveled, so to speak – acupuncture.
Acupuncture is considered safe and effective in treating pregnancy woes such as nausea, fatigue, backache, and other forms of body ache. Acupuncture during pregnancy has been proven to, among others, help in a shorter labor period, in contrast with women who did not undergo the procedure during pregnancy. Studies have concluded that this is especially effective when done once weekly during pregnancy’s last month.
Common pregnancy conditions
Acupuncture can be used to cure nausea and vomiting; anemia; insomnia; depression or anxiety; back pains; heartburn; high blood pressure; labor pains; lactation problems; breech and posterior presentation; pre-term and delayed labor that occur in pregnancy; as well as post-partum depression.
Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years especially for this purpose – making the mother and the baby healthy for birth.
Caution must still be exercised, though. During pregnancy, certain points in the body are to be avoided during acupuncture because these may trigger uterine contractions. It is therefore extremely important to have acupuncture procedures done by a trained acupuncturist who knows all the vital points especially during pregnancy
Other pregnancy acupuncture do’s and don’ts
Acupuncture is not a stand-alone medication or treatment. This means that women must still regularly consult with their doctors, especially OB/GYNs, about their health. This way, women’s health during p is monitored regularly.
Many Chinese herbs are also safe to use during pregnancy, some very beneficial in threatened miscarriages and uterine contractions during pre-term labor. But that is not to say that all herbs are safe to be used during pregnancy, because there are those that actually initiate uterine contractions. Thus, the need for a trained practitioner becomes more pronounced.
First to third pregnancy trimesters
During pregnancy’s first trimester, acupuncture is used mainly to maintain a healthy pregnancy for mother and child. This means treatment is focused on preventing miscarriage as well as addressing early pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and nausea. A once-a-week acupuncture treatment during this time is recommended for expectant mothers.
During the second trimester, on the other hand, balance and relief are two goals of acupuncture treatments. The frequency of treatment is on a case-to-case basis, and evaluated by the pregnant woman’s acupuncturist.
In the third pregnancy trimester, meanwhile, preparations for labor and delivery would be the focus of weekly acupuncture treatments. For pregnant women with possible breech presentations, acupuncture treatment is given between the 32nd and 36th week. During this time, weekly treatments are encouraged to ensure smooth labor and birth processes.