Acupuncture during pregnancy | treatment

Acupuncture during pregnancy provides drug-free treatment. We have years of experience helping women get the most out of their pregnancy.

 
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There are four important aspects to acupuncture during pregnancy discussed here:

1. Acupuncture through the trimesters: ensure the health of yourself and the baby
2. Acupuncture for symptoms in pregnancy
3. Acupressure before and during labour
4. Additional information: breech babies, labour induction and post-natal recovery

 

1. Acupuncture through the trimesters

 

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Implantation to 12 weeks
Once you have a positive pregnancy test, acupuncture is recommended every week to two weeks, up to 12 weeks, to reduce the chances of miscarriage and to ensure good blood quality and circulation for you and your baby. It is also useful to counteract the effects of stress and worry, and is commonly used to help alleviate common conditions of early pregnancy such as morning sickness and fatigue.

Second and third trimesters
Between 12 and 36 weeks acupuncture is recommended about every four weeks. Treatment helps to maintain good circulation and to balance hormones. If during this period any pregnancy related conditions develop then the frequency of treatment may need to be altered, depending on their nature

From 36 weeks
For the last few weeks, treatment is advised weekly. The development of the baby is complete and now you are preparing for childbirth. These pre-birth treatments will help prepare you for labour and the coming weeks. Treatment aims to help to ripen the cervix, increase your stamina entering into labour, to soften the tendons and ligaments and to help optimize the baby’s position.

 

2. Acupuncture for symptoms in pregnancy

 
woman with a strong toxicosis

     

        We recommend that any symptoms that develop during pregnancy are treated as quickly as possible. The sooner we start addressing them, the easier they are to resolve and the more likely you are to continue having a healthy pregnancy.

     

    • Constipation
    • Fatigue
    • Hypertension (pregnancy-induced)
    • Insomnia
    • Miscarriage (threatened and recurrent)
    • Nausea and vomiting (Morning Sickness)
    • Oedema
    • Pelvic pain
    • SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction)


    It can also provide effective treatment for:

    • Anaemia
    • Anxiety
    • Breech and poorly positioned babies
    • Emotional & psychological issues
    • Haemorrhoids
    • Heartburn
    • Hypertension (pregnancy-induced)
    • Musculoskeletal conditions
    • Small for dates babies
    • Thrush and abnormal vaginal discharge
    • Urinary tract infections
    • Varicose veins


    Acupuncture during pregnancy is also useful for:

    • Helping to induce labour
    • Preparing you for an efficient labour
    • Postpartum recovery

     

    3. Acupressure before and during labour

     

    There are a collection of acupressure points that can be really useful ‘before’ and ‘during’ labour. Around 38 weeks you may bring your birthing partner and I can demonstrate these and get them to practice on you. I will supply a handout. Their uses include:

    Before
    Improve sleep
    Help to energise and to relax
    Increase blood supply to the uterine muscles
    Soften and strengthen tendons and ligaments

    During labour
    Help soften and ripen the cervix
    Help regulate and strengthen contractions
    Help to energise and to relax Increase endorphin levels

     

    4. Additional information


    Breech presentation
    Breech babies are ideally treated between 34 – 36 weeks. At this stage treatment is 80% effective and often only requires a one off treatment to show you how to continue treatment at home with a moxa stick (a herb that has been rolled into a cigar like stick). This stick is lit and held over specific places in the body to stimulate the acupuncture points twice a day for up to 10 days.

    Induction acupuncture

    Once full-term is reached acupuncture can be used to encourage labour. Some points are specifically chosen for your individual constitution and some are more generic ones that interact directly with the sacral plexus – a group of nerves that are intimately involved in the birthing process.
 Success may require treatment on consecutive days and depends on timing with the best results between days 10 and 14 over.

    Post-natal recovery
    It can take a one to three months to recover from the combined effects of pregnancy and the birth process. According to Chinese medicine this is not bed rest but rather a period of recuperation. Rest should be taken when possible, exercise should be appropriate and diet should emphasize blood and energy production. In this day and age it is more important than ever with short paternity leave and social pressures for mothers to perform. Without sufficient support it may well mean months of tiredness.

    Acupuncture at this point can help


    • Aid breastfeeding and mastitis
    • Balance emotions
    • Build energy and blood
    • Heal scar and perineal tissue
    • Promote good sleep
    • Post-natal depression

     

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Rick Mudie

Rick Mudie

Rick is a Course Co-ordinator and Clinical Supervisor International College of Oriental Medicine (ICOM). He has degrees in Oriental Medicine from Brighton University and Social Sciences from Edinburgh University.

He has clinics in Brighton and Lewes, in East Sussex, and practices five-element 'Stems and Branches' and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture, with a strong emphasis on channel palpation.
 

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