I thought I would share a little on how acupuncture can be used during pregnancy. First off let’s just put it out there that acupuncture is safe during pregnancy. Most women choose to avoid taking medications whilst pregnant; therefore acupuncture is a great natural alternative. There are points which should be avoided during most of your pregnancy which is why it is important you tell me if you are or think you may be pregnant when you come for treatment.
Common Issues I Treat in Pregnancy
The most common issues seen in clinic are nausea and vomiting, heartburn, constipation, headaches and migraines. Musculoskeletal conditions like SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction), back, neck, shoulder and sciatic pain. Additionally we see ladies who are fatigued or suffering with exhaustion. Bleeding in pregnancy, is quite common in addition to insomnia, anxiety and oedema. Other less common reasons for seeking acupuncture are miscarriage, especially if there is a history of this or a threatened miscarriage also small for date babies. One lesser known but fantastic reason is for birth preparation and let’s not forget post natal treatment when you really need to replenish and renew your energy and the emphasis is usually less on mum and more on baby.
What about in labour?
The arrival of baby is one area most women have some trepidation about. We can use acupressure in labour; it is a great way for the partner or support person to get involved and has been shown to be as effective in pain relief as acupuncture. Women report a reduction in pain, as well as feeling calmer. I can advice on acupressure points which can be used in labour; it is a non invasive technique that requires no tools other than a pair of hands and the willingness to listen to feedback from the mum to be!
Post Natal Care
Back to post natal care for new mums for a moment, this is really important in Chinese Medicine. Fatigue, blood loss and post natal depression are common post delivery symptoms and the focus should well and truly be on mum as well as the new baby. Traditionally in China, women would do something called ‘sitting the month’ but nowadays that is not so practical or possible. Getting regular acupuncture and moxibustion are great to promote healing and for helping new mums recover and gain strength after delivery.
One other point to mention is diet, a healthy diet is obvious if you want a healthy pregnancy, you have to not only nourish but protect the developing baby from toxins which can cross the placenta and in extreme cases induce a miscarriage. Pregnancy is a good time to examine your diet and address any poor eating habits. What can you do to help, avoid the uncooked or undercooked meats, poultry, fish and seafood’s and unpasteurised products, that is a given. If you want the best possible diet try to include organic foods with their reduced pesticide levels and non-genetically engineered origins this way you are getting a higher nutritional quality.
In Chinese medicine food is classified by its energetic properties so it will be cold, cool, neutral, warm or hot and will have one or more flavours associated with it such as sour bitter, sweet, pungent and salty. How food is prepared is also taken into account when looking at its properties, eating something, raw, steamed, or roasted changes the properties of a given food. All of these things can be looked at in detail when you come for treatment, if necessary. Pregnancy and birth are amazing, and should be enjoyed and cherished; don’t suffer with pregnancy related ailments get some acupuncture instead.