Acupuncture has many amazing benefits for pregnant moms-to-be. While pregnant, many medications and supplements are contraindicated, and treatment options are limited. Fortunately, acupuncture is a safe, natural, drug-free treatment option for many pregnancy-related conditions. Acupuncture during pregnancy can help ease you through the trimesters and prepare you for birth.
Common conditions treated with acupuncture during pregnancy:
carpal tunnel syndrome
Acupuncture for morning sickness & heartburn
Nearly half of pregnant women in the United States experience nausea and vomiting during the first trimester. Acupuncture works by easing the secretion of endorphins and ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) to inhibit specific areas of the brain responsible for nausea/vomiting. During pregnancy, hormonal changes can relax the esophageal muscles and slow stomach emptying. This causes stomach acid to push upwards to the esophagus, leading to heartburn, nausea and bloating. Acupuncture also helps to ease stress, improving stress-induced digestive symptoms.
Acupuncture for pain during pregnancy
Because most pain relieving medications cannnot be taken during pregnancy, many pregnant women just suffer with the pain. Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins and enkephalins to naturally block pain signals, so you don't need to suffer or use pain medication. Significant pain relief can happen in as little as one session. Common pain conditions treated during pregnancy include: neck/shoulder pain, pelvic pain, back pain, hip pain, headaches, migraines and sciatica.
Acupuncture for prenatal anxiety & depression
Acupuncture is a great alternative to anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications without the side-effects. Pregnancy can be stressful and hormones can definitely cause heightened emotions that acupuncture can help you cope with. Acupuncture has a profound impact when it comes to lowering cortisol levels. Bringing down cortisol (stress hormone) levels during pregnancy also reduces the baby's exposure to cortisol, which can have a lifelong positive effect on the child.
Many pregnant women stop anti-depressant medications due to safety concerns. Depression during pregnancy can be caused by the cessation of antidepressants and subsequent relapse or pregnancy-induced depression due to hormones or stress. Acupuncture stimulates the release of feel-good chemicals (endorphins) to naturally and safely help treat depression.
Acupuncture for breech presentation
Acupuncture point UB-67 can be used to help effectively turn breech babies, without the need for invasive techniques. When the baby is in breech position (feet first), this increases the chances for c-section or difficult birth. Because acupuncture is effective in treating breech presentation, it can help reduce the need for c-section and lower the risk of birth complications.
Acupuncture for labor preparation
Specific acupuncture points are used to help stimulate labor, soften the ligaments to encourage the baby to descend properly into the birth canal, prepare the cervix to dilate, and encourage muscle contraction. Acupuncture also puts the body into a parasympathetic relaxed state, so you feel safe and ready to give birth.
Weekly acupuncture treatments are recommended during the first trimester to help ease anxiety, prevent miscarriage and alleviate nausea and vomiting. Monthly acupuncture during the second trimester can help alleviate pain and discomfort. During the third trimester, weekly acupuncture can help prepare your body for birth and help you to feel more relaxed mentally and physically.