Acupuncture and Pregnancy Support

December 4, 2022

Pregnancy Support

During pregnancy women are often seeking natural safe drug-free treatments to relieve symptoms.  We treat women and each pregnancy holistically and not a collection of symptoms.  We develop a treatment plan providing the least amount of treatment to get the best results in the shortest period of time.

We feel that it is best to treat symptoms that occur during pregnancy as soon as possible to prevent more significant imbalances that can affect the bodies energy and fetal growth and development.

Acupuncture can help relieve many pregnancy related conditions such as:

  • Morning Sickness &
  • Back Pain & Pelvic Pain
  • Leg Cramps
  • Headache
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Dizziness
  • Breach & Posterior Position Babies
  • Labor Induction
  • Acupressure for Pain Relief During Labor
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Heartburn
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Malposition of Fetus
  • Fatigue
  • Pain Relief & Problems During Labor
  • Postpartum Recovery
  • Prebirth treatment to prepare for labour

Pregnancy Week 4-12

First Trimester

This time period is often considered one of the most crucial, and we highly recommend continuing acupuncture as pregnancy occurs. After fertilization occurs the zygote divides repeatedly in the fallopian tube to form a solid sphere of cells referred to as a morula. Implantation occurs 10-14 days after ovulation. During this time period the neural tube forms which will develop into the nervous system (brain and spinal cord). The heart and the primitive circulatory system rapidly form. Acupuncture can help stabilize and assist embryo development, and address other symptoms such as morning sickness and fatigue. This trimester requires the most attentive care and we generally recommend weekly visits during this time.

Pregnancy Week 12-24

Second Trimester

During this trimester your baby begins to hear and respond to the outside environment. The baby's skeleton is developing bones which become visible during ultrasound, fat begins to form and the baby's sex becomes apparent. During this phase many changes take place as the mother's body grows in preparation for delivery. During this phase acupuncture can help to address many symptoms that arise such as fatigue, nausea, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, leg cramps, dizziness, edema, etc. Depending on the symptoms presenting we generally recommend one or two treatments per month.

Pregnancy Week 24-36

Third Trimester

This trimester is one of rapid fetal development.  At time you baby can begin to open their eyes and start to detect light.  The baby develops their own waking and sleeping patters, practices breathing and may such a thumb.  Around week 34 weight gain becomes rapid nearly a half pound per week.  At this time acupuncture can help assist and relieve symptoms such as back pain, heart burn, insomnia, gestational diabetes, and preecalmpsia, and many other symptoms.  We recommend treatment based on the symptoms you are presenting, starting prebirth acupucnture around 34-36 weeks to begin to prepare the body for healthy labor and delivery.

Pre-Birth Acupuncture

PreBirth treatment involves a series of four to six treatments weekly from 34 to 36 weeks to prepare the body for an healthy successful labor. We tailor treatment specific to a woman's pregnancy history, constitution and current symptoms.

The focus of pre-birth acupuncture treatments are to:

  • ripen the cervic and assist effacement
  • enhance overall energy and stamina necessary for a healthy labor
  • assist the baby in being in the best position for labor

Initial research on pre-birth acupuncture treatments is showing promising findings.  A study done in New Zealand Debra Betts and Sue Lennox looking at 169 women who received pre-birth acupuncture compared to the general population being treated solely by midwives, general practitioners and specialists found:

  • an overall reduction of 43% in the number of inductions for women having their first pregnancy
  • an overall reduction of 35%in the number of inductions for women having their second or subsequent pregnancies
  • a 31% overall reduction in the epidural rate
  • There was no difference in the onset of early labor in those women receiving prebirth acupuncture

Although this is a general study based on the clinical observation and not a randomized controlled study of large sample size, it does begin to reflect the potential  benefits of acupuncture helping to prepare for labor and provide a basis for future studies.

Source: Dr Debra Betts (PhD) LAc

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