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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:

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.

Breech Presentation

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.

Labor Induction

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.

Postpartum Treatment

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.

Recommended Reading

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General Pregnancy Information

Pregnancy | Trimesters | Breech | Labor Induction | Pain | Postpartum | Experiences