Some social media posts might have you believe that once a woman becomes pregnant then everything will be plain sailing and you will simply be glowing for nine months.
It’s not always like that: pregnancy can bring highs and lows, as the many changes within the body lead to conditions that can be difficult.
Acupuncture, when delivered by a fully qualified acupuncturist, can be used throughout pregnancy to help with a variety of concerns and is safe for mother and baby.
Specific conditions that can occur include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Threatened miscarriage
- Musculoskeletal pain i.e. hip, back, pelvis
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Anxiety and depression
- Itching in pregnancy
- Gestational Diabetes
- Breech presentation
In addition to helping with any of these, acupuncture can also make a difference to your sense of wellbeing. I recommend weekly treatment from 12 to 16 weeks, then monthly until 34 weeks.
From 36 weeks, an appointment each week will help prepare for birth. Acupuncture points are used to help relax, and some points are used to help ripen the cervix ready for childbirth. This is to prepare the body for an efficient labour.
Chinese medicine has an effective drug free and gentle way to encourage a breech baby into the correct position ready for birth. The therapy uses Moxibustion, or Moxa for short. Moxa is from the mugwort herb and is made into a stick form. This is then lit and used to warm the little toe on both sides. One appointment is needed for the initial treatment and then a moxa stick is given to mum to take home.
Moxa is never in contact with the skin: it is held above the toe so that the warmth can help to stimulate the baby’s movement. Self-treatment will continue for 10 days after you have been shown how to use the moxa stick. Then a check with your midwife would be needed to check that the baby has turned into the correct position. This can be carried out from 34 weeks of pregnancy provided there are no other complications.
Acupuncture in Childbirth
Acupuncture can used during childbirth to help labour. In some cases, acupuncture is used for induction.
Acupressure – pushing on specific acupuncture points – can be used gently and successfully during childbirth. An appointment can be made to go through acupressure points that can be used together with a friend or partner.