With all of the aches and pains of pregnancy, choosing to sit in a chair and have someone stick you with dozens of needles may not seem like a very good idea.
But we implore you, consider acupuncture during pregnancy!
The key to acupuncture is having it done consistently. Lots of medical insurance plans even cover acupuncture now – with only a $20 copay, some women can get up to 24 treatments in a calendar year!
Many moms-to-be, including myself, have experienced the amazing benefits of acupuncture. I will recommend acupuncture to expectant moms for as long as I live! Here’s why.
Benefits of Acupuncture During Pregnancy
There are an array of advantages to acupuncture during pregnancy. As stated above, if you consistently receive acupuncture you can be confident in your body’s response to its healing methods.
Here are some of the ways acupuncture can help
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- Morning Sickness: Many moms-to-be experience morning sickness. Acupuncture along the wrists is known to reduce nausea and vomiting.
- Headaches: Pregnancy-induced headaches are a common complaint among moms-to-be and acupuncture is known to aid in relieving them. Acupuncture has also been proven to help relieve pregnancy-induced migraines.
- Lower Back Pain: One of the most common complaints of moms-to-be is lower back pain. Consistent acupuncture has been known to help decrease and even eliminate this type of pain.
- Emotional Health: Acupuncture during pregnancy can not only help with physical pain, but it can also contribute to improving emotional health. Many moms-to-be, while ecstatic and thrilled to be expecting, find their hormones out of whack and their emotions unusually volatile. Acupuncture, if used consistently, can help balance your hormones.
- Relaxation: Most moms-to-be continue working through their pregnancy and tend to carry extra stress, anxiety, and tension. Regular acupuncture can increase your relaxation and necessary rest time while decreasing your stress.
- Acne: As various hormones increase many moms-to-be find their acne growing as well. Acupuncture can balance out the chemicals and hormones and prevent or aid in acne.
- A few other areas that can be benefited by acupuncture are allergies, nausea, hemorrhoids, insomnia, and when overdue.
ARE THERE RISKS OR SIDE EFFECTS ACUPUNCTURE DURING PREGNANCY?
If done correctly by a professional, there are minimal, if any, risks. Acupuncture has been used for millennia on pregnant women and is safe. There may be “soreness, redness or infection at the insertion sites, and injury from needles placed too deeply” (http://www.whattoexpect.com).
If you experience any of those symptoms, simply ask your practitioner to insert them more gently or loosen them if you’re in the middle of treatment.
GETTING ACUPUNCTURE DURING PREGNANCY
ACUPUNCTURE DURING THE FIRST TRIMESTER
During the first trimester, acupuncturists focus on setting your pregnancy up for complete health and giving you a stable foundation. The needles are used on specific points to prevent miscarriage and intense early pregnancy symptoms like extreme exhaustion and nausea.
ACUPUNCTURE DURING THE SECOND TRIMESTER
Second-trimester acupuncture works to balance hormones and help with the complaints talked about briefly above such as lower back and pelvic pain, headaches, and depression. Especially if used consistently, weekly, many moms-to-be find acupuncture to help balance these pregnancy pains.
During the second trimester, acupuncture is used to regulate the digestive, nervous, and endocrine systems, all of which are necessary to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
“Acupuncture helps to alleviate heart burn, hemorrhoids, edema, elevated blood pressure, and stress.” // http://www.pullingdownthemoon.com
ACUPUNCTURE DURING THE THIRD TRIMESTER
Third-trimester acupuncture works to prepare the expectant mom’s body for labor and delivery. Acupuncturists will not treat for labor induction until week 39 or 40, and only as long as there are no complications with your pregnancy.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I DO ACUPUNCTURE DURING PREGNANCY?
The suggestions vary, but if you have an uncomplicated, healthy pregnancy you can go as few as one to two times per month for the consistency to have good effects. It would not hurt, and would even be beneficial, to go once a week.
ACUPUNCTURE TO PREVENT MISCARRIAGE
Acupuncture is known to aid in preventing miscarriage, although it’s certainly not guaranteed. Because regular acupuncture helps to regulate hormones, it can contribute to the prevention of miscarriage.
ACUPUNCTURE FOR INDUCTION
Acupuncture for labor induction is safe for both the mother and baby as long as there are no serious complications with the pregnancy. It is most effective starting the week of the baby’s due date.
Several studies show a success rate of over 70%.
Labor induction with acupuncture stimulates uterine contractions and softens the cervix. The treatment starts a hormonal process which stimulates the mother’s body to release prostaglandins and oxytocin, the natural hormone that Pitocin mimics.
As a result, it is a much more gentle and natural process than Western induction. Because of this, the effects are not instantaneous, as they are in Western induction.
The mother’s pre-labor progression will determine the number of treatments needed. Some women only need one or two treatments while others may need several treatments for active labor to start. // http://www.expectantmothersguide.com
ACUPUNCTURE FOR CONCEPTION
Many women find themselves in the painful state of waiting and dealing with infertility; when you find yourself in this space of desiring pregnancy, and it just seems like nothing’s working, you will try anything.
Well, try acupuncture!
“Acupuncture helps by addressing problems that affect fertility such as an under-functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism) or over-functioning thyroid (hyperthyroidism).” (http://americanpregnancy.org).
Acupuncture has been used in conjunction with herbal medicine and has been used for hundreds of years to treat infertility, but not all causes of infertility. It is certainly worth a try and, if anything, you will find yourself in a relaxing appointment and still reap immense benefits.
There are various reasons to pursue acupuncture during pregnancy. We hope that you find success for all the reasons you receive it. Always check with your doctor before starting any acupuncture treatment.