Pregnancy and childbirth are a deeply personal time in the life of a woman and her loved ones, while also being a period of emotional vulnerability. The maternity care should be gentle, respectful and informative; and take place in an atmosphere of trust, support, compassion and empowerment.
Chinese Medicine and acupuncture have traditionally been used to provide specialised care for the women during pregnancy and the recovery period following childbirth.
Pregnancy acupuncture treatments help by providing both pre and post birth care and support; and help to provide women with more confidence in their own bodies as they undergo the many changes that occur throughout the term of pregnancy.
Pre-birth pregnancy acupuncture treatments have been shown to have many clinical benefits:
As this can be a sensitive time during pregnancy, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are able to help strengthen the body to support a growing foetus throughout the term of pregnancy. Issues including morning sickness, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, headaches, recurrent miscarriage and anxiety about the pregnancy can be successfully managed with the use of Chinese herbal products and pregnancy acupuncture during this time. Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for reducing both the severity and incidence of nausea, dry retching and vomiting during pregnancy because the acupuncture points are chosen based on your individual diagnosis.
During the second trimester, conditions like “small for term” foetus, heartburn, morning sickness, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, constipation, hemorrhoids, varicose veins and stress are treated with the use of acupuncture, moxibustion and Chinese medicine. Pregnancy acupuncture can play an important role in reducing high blood pressure, especially if treatment is commenced early when hypertension is first noticed, and then monitored regularly because it has the potential to escalate quickly.
Breech baby or posterior position babies are able to be turned with the use of acupuncture and moxibustion from weeks 32-36, and treatments can still be useful when used later than this. Other issues that may occur during this trimester include heartburn, varicose veins, joint pain, back pain, bloating, sciatica and frequent urination during pregnancy, which can all be managed with Chinese medicine and pregnancy acupuncture.
Weekly treatment sessions from week 36 because it is time to help prepare the body for the process of childbirth. Treatments can be focused to reduce stress, increase stamina, plus ripening of the cervix in preparation for the birthing process.
Acupuncture may be able to gently induce the hormonal cascade that normally occurs in the lead up to labour if the baby is overdue. This can be an effective alternative to a medical chemical induction.
It is recommended to have a follow up treatment 2-4 weeks post-birth to assess general health of the mother. As childbirth can be a demanding and exhausting process, the treatment session may simply be to replenish the body’s energy and blood stores.
Chinese medicine and post-natal acupuncture are able to treat many post-birth issues including insomnia, insufficient lactation, scar tissue repair, reflux, indigestion, poor energy and may benefit mild postnatal depression (aka “baby blues”).