How is Acupuncture of benefit in pregnancy?
Pregnancy Acupuncture has been utilised as a standalone treatment for all pregnancy related conditions and disorders in China for thousands of years. Indeed, it represents a drug free alternative to treat most pregnancy related disorders. Even in asymptomatic pregnancies, acupuncture has been widely used to benefit both the mother and the developing foetus. Many women choose to have acupuncture during their pregnancy to remain as healthy as possible in order to reduce the likelihood of complications and ensure an effective labour and postpartum recovery. Healthy mother equals healthy baby!
Acupuncture may be used during pregnancy and postpartum to:
- optimise foetal growth and development by ensuring adequate flow of blood
- reduce the toxic load on the mother’s body
- relax the mother
- regulate body processes to restore balance and maintain optimal health of both mother and baby
- reduce complications during gestation and the likelihood of interventions
- facilitate labour initiation and progress
- promote lactation and postpartum recovery.
Pregnancy Acupuncture for the treatment of morning sickness
Nearly half of all pregnant women will experience nausea during pregnancy. For most women, it is usually between weeks 7 and 14. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for this condition and is a safe alternative for women who are concerned about taking medications whilst pregnant. This efficacy has been validated by numerous clinical studies. One such study was a randomised control trial conducted in 2002 involving 593 women experiencing morning sickness. It reported that the women receiving acupuncture experienced less nausea and less dry reaching than those in the control group.
Pregnancy Acupuncture for breech presentation
For centuries, Traditional Chinese Medicine has been using moxibustion therapy to turn a foetus in the breech position. This technique involves the burning of the moxa herb (Artemisia argyi folium) over an acupuncture point located on the lateral side of the little toe.
Moxa has a warming, invigorating quality and stimulating this point with moxa has been clinically proven to increase foetal activity and encourage the foetus into cephalic presentation. Indeed, this technique is extremely effective and has a success rate of up to 81%. This success rate was documented in a research study published in 1998 which involved 260 women (primigravidas) at 33 weeks gestation, 130 of which received moxibustion for 15 minutes per day. At the end of the second week, those performing the moxibustion once a day recorded a 72.4% success rate and those using moxibustion twice a day recorded a success rate of 81% .
Moxibustion therapy offers women a non-invasive and natural alternative for dealing with breech presentations. It is usually best performed between 33 to 36 weeks and can be easily performed at home.
Other pregnancy-related conditions
Apart from the specific conditions listed above, Acupuncture has the ability to treat a wide variety of other pregnancy-related complaints and conditions in a safe and non-invasive manner.
- recurrent miscarriage
- poor immunity, common cold and influenza
- constipation and diarrhoea
- urinary tract infections
- musculoskeletal conditions (sciatica, pelvic instability)
- fatigue and exhaustion
- anxiety and depression
- obsessive compulsive disorder
- thrush and abnormal vaginal discharge
- pregnancy-induced hypertension
- ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome
- skin disorders
- headaches and migraines
- varicose veins
- natural induction
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- postpartum recovery.