Acupuncture During Pregnancy
I have had good success with this. Most women experience some degree of nausea and or vomiting in early pregnancy which usually settles by the time they reach their 16th- 20 th week of pregnancy.
If vomiting is severe it is advisable to contact your own midwife or GP as it may be may be a condition known as ‘hyperemesis gravidarum’ which may require hospital admission.
Acupuncture can really help with morning sickness and offers pregnant women a drug free option. Often women will experience immediate relief from symptoms with the use of a minimal amount of needles.
Tiredness and exhaustion during pregnancy
Many women experience tiredness and even exhaustion during pregnancy. This is often at its worse during the first twelve weeks and in the last trimester of pregnancy. Various factors may contribute to exhaustion including in insomnia, looking after other young children, working late into the pregnancy, anaemia and even anxiety about the birth.
Acupuncture can help to relieve tiredness and exhaustion by treating some of the underlying patterns that Traditional Chinese medicine may identify.
Anxiety and Depression in Pregnancy
Hormonal changes and tiredness mean that difficulties with mood can be common in pregnancy. Indeed Pre Natal Depression is now an increasingly recognised syndrome.
Research evidence strongly supports the use of acupuncture in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
Some women become anaemic during pregnancy. Symptoms may include exhaustion, dizziness, pallor, and breathlessness on exertion. In Traditional Chinese medicine there are specific acupuncture points that can be used in pregnancy to build and improve the quality of the blood. Acupuncture combined with dietary advice which we can offer, may help to improve your anemia and help to relieve the associated symptoms.
Common during pregnancy and after the birth, hemorrhoids can cause discomfort through pain and itching. With dietary advice, I have found acupuncture to often help.
Pelvic Girdle pain (often called SPD)
Pain around the pubic bone is common in pregnancy, and may cause some pregnant women considerable discomfort and difficulty in walking, climbing stairs and getting out of bed. Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for pelvic girdle pain & more effective than physiotherapy in relieving pain and improving mobility. Combining acupuncture with craniosacral therapy is even nore effective.
Headaches and Pregnancy
The demands of pregnancy mean that women who wouldn’t normally experience headaches may suffer from this condition. Often headaches are worse in women who are prone to them in day to day life.
I find acupuncture along with craniosacral therapy really useful in treating headaches.
Breech presentation is very common in pregnancy and most babies (96-97%) will turn to head first by full term. If your baby persists as breech then I can help.
Insomnia is common in all stages of pregnancy and may be due to a number of reasons including frequent waking to empty the bladder, stress, and or an inability to get comfortable because of the growing baby.
Acupuncture can help by treating the underlying pattern causing it. Many women find acupuncture a relaxing experience which can help to reduce stress & improve sleep.
Backache / Sciatica
These are common in pregnancy and may cause considerable discomfort in walking, sitting or sleeping. I have found acupuncture and cranial work really helpful.
PreBirth Acupuncture to prepare for labour
Weekly acupuncture treatments from 37 weeks of pregnancy may help to ripen the cervix, encourage the baby to adopt a good position for birth and also help to energize a woman in preparation for the birth.
A clinical study in New Zealand (Betts& Lennox, 2006) showed that women having PreBirth acupuncture had a
• 35% reduction in medical inductions ( 43% in women having their first baby)
• 31% reduction in the epidurals
• 32% reduction in emergency caesarean delivery
• 9 % increase in normal vaginal births
Induction of labour
I have found acupuncture to often really help here. Pregnant women are routinely offered medical induction of labour at Term +12, & earlier if there are complications. Prior to induction women may be offered a ‘stretch and sweep’ by their midwife to encourage them to go into labour spontaneously.
Studies have shown that women treated with acupuncture when overdue are less likely to require medical induction of labour (Rabl, 2001).
If you are suffering severe constipation, it is worth trying acupuncture.