- Why should I get Acupuncture during Pregnancy?
- Pregnancy and Postpartum Conditions Treated
- Is Acupuncture Safe during Pregnancy?
- Are Chinese Herbs Safe during Pregnancy?
- General Treatment Plan for Pregnancy
- Breech Presentation
- Labor Prep/Induction
- Pain Management during Labor
- Postpartum Treatment & Resources
- Recommended Reading & Links
- Patient Experiences
Why should I get Acupuncture during Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is an exciting and wonderful time. However, with the many physical and hormonal changes that occur, it can also be a time of discomfort. Many pregnant women suffer from fatigue, nausea, backache and other conditions that are considered a "normal" part of pregnancy. Acupuncture is a safe, gentle and effective way to address these complaints, especially since many Western medications can't be used during this time.
See this article on holistic prenatal care publishing in Pregnancy & Newborn, April, 2014.
Regular acupuncture during pregnancy sets the foundation for a healthy mother and baby. In addition, women who receive acupuncture during pregnancy often have a shorter and easier birth experience than women who don't receive acupuncture. Several European studies concluded that women who received acupuncture once a week during the last month of pregnancy had significantly shorter labors than women who did not receive any acupuncture, in addition to less medical inductions, a reduction in epidurals, a lower rate of caesarean sections, and an increase in normal vaginal births.
Pregnancy and Postpartum Conditions Treated
Some of the conditions that acupuncture can treat are:
- Pre-natal care
- Nausea, vomiting, and hyperemesis gravidarum
- Low energy
- Headaches & migraines
- Back pain and sciatica
- Symphysis pubis pain
- Pelvic girdle pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure (pre-eclampsia)
- PUPPs & other pregnancy-related skin conditions
- Certain types of threatened miscarriage
- Placenta previa
- Breech presentation
- Posterior presentation
- Pre-term labor
- Delayed labor
- Labor pain
- Lactation problems
- Postpartum anxiety/depression
- C-Section preparation and recovery
Is Acupuncture Safe during Pregnancy?
Yes. Prenatal acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to help patients support a healthy pregnancy and uncomplicated delivery. An Australian study conducted by Adelaide University in 2002 found that acupuncture during pregnancy had no adverse effects and was completely safe when done by a trained acupuncturist. Another study in 2001 involved 417 pregnant women who received acupuncture for a total of 3,152 treatments and found no maternal or obstetric side effects.
You may have heard that some acupuncture points are forbidden during pregnancy. While there is no real evidence for avoiding these points mentioned in the classic texts of Traditional Chinese Medicine, they are usually avoided during pregnancy on the small chance that they might stimulate uterine contractions. A practitioner trained in prenatal acupuncture & Obstetrics, as Cindi is, will know which points can safely be used and which should be avoided. Also, all pregnant patients are seen regularly throughout their pregnancy by an OB/Gyn or midwife, which allows Cindi to be well informed of any complications or health issues.
Are Chinese Herbs Safe during Pregnancy?
Many Chinese herbs are safe to use during pregnancy. In fact, some herbs are very beneficial, such as herbs used to prevent a threatened miscarriage or herbs used to calm uterine contractions during pre-term labor. Some herbs, however, are not safe during pregnancy. These herbs can initiate uterine contractions or may be toxic to the fetus. A practitioner trained in prenatal acupuncture will know which herbs are safe to use and which are to be avoided. The need for Chinese herbs during pregnancy is evaluated on an individual basis. Herbs are usually prescribed only when absolutely necessary.
General Treatment Plan for Pregnancy
Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) provide specific treatments for each of the three trimesters of pregnancy: setting the foundation, maintaining balance / offering relief from common complaints, and preparing the body for labor and delivery. Read more about TCM treatment plan for pregnancy.
The traditional Chinese medicine treatment for breech presentation has been used for thousands of years. It is successful 75% of the time and carries no risk to the mother or baby. Read more about breech presentation treatment.
Acupuncture for labor induction is safe for both the mother and baby as long as there are no serious complications with the pregnancy. Read more about labor induction with TCM
Pain Management during Labor
Acupuncture is helpful in managing pain during labor. Read more about pain management during labor.
In addition to returning the body to a state of balance and optimal reproductive health, many postpartum conditions are successfully treated with acupuncture. Read more about postpartum treatment.
- Better Birth, by Denise Spatafora
- Birthing from Within, by Pam England & Rob Horowitz
- Childbirth without Fear, by Grantly Dick-Read
- The Complete Book of Pregnancy & Childbirth, by Sheila Kitzinger
- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
- Real Food for Mother & Baby, Nina Planck
- The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, by Henci Goer
- BABI (Bay Area Birth Information)
- Blossom Birth Resource Center (Peninsula area)
- Harmony Birth Resource Center (South Bay area)
- Casa Natal Birth Center
- South Bay Homebirth Collective
- Ronnie Falcao's Resource Page
- My Momma Mentors (baby, pregnancy & parenting guidance)
- The Birth Survey
- Childbirth U (informed choices in childbirth - by Henci Goer)
- ICAN (cesarean & VBAC information)
- Postpartum Support International (support for perinatal mood disorders)
- Jenny's Light (raising awareness of perinatal mood disorders)
- Supporting Mamas (supporting moms in the South Bay with perinatal mood issues)
- Checklist for Postpartum Depression/Anxiety - (helpful for identifying postpartum symptoms)
- Solace for Mothers (support & resources for challenging childbirth)
- Placenta Benefits
- Placenta Encapsulation by Mendy Thijssen
- Placenta Pros
- Earth Baby Compostable Diaper Service
- Tiny Tots: Baby Boutique, Classes & Events, Diaper Service
- Gemini Crickets (for parents of multiples in Silicon Valley)
- Las Madres Neighborhood Playgroups
General Pregnancy Information
- Acufinder.com: Pregnancy
- American Pregnancy Association
- Debra Betts: Acupuncture for Pregnancy & Childbirth