Acupuncture is a gentle and safe therapy, useful for symptom control and improved health throughout pregnancy. Research shows many benefits to both mother and baby from the use of acupuncture treatments, including:
- Decreased labor times
- Reduction in pre-term birth rates
- Prevention of premature contractions
- Improves blood flow to the uterus, thereby promoting growth and optimizing the baby’s health
- Promotes lactation
- Reduces postpartum depression, and enhances postpartum recovery time
- Helps turn breech presentations
- Decreases Morning Sickness
- Controls musculoskeletal pain during pregnancy and labor
Chinese medicine during each stage of pregnancy
First trimester: During the first trimester, acupuncture is used to regulate the endocrine system, helping to keep pregnancy hormones balanced for symptom control. A combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine and moxibustion ensures optimal blood flow to the uterus to prevent miscarriage and promote fetal health. Acupuncture helps to prevent and control symptoms such as nausea, morning sickness, fatigue, migraines, bleeding, and spotting that are experienced during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Second trimester: During the second trimester, acupuncture helps to regulate the digestive and nervous systems, which are often affected during this time. Support is provided for fetal growth, and good nutrition is emphasized. Acupuncture helps to maintain balance, alleviate heartburn, hemorrhoids, edema, elevated blood pressure, and stress.
Third trimester: During the third trimester, acupuncture is used to regulate the musculoskeletal system and provide relief from sciatica, backache, pubic and joint pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. If hormonal imbalance is leading to diabetes or elevated blood pressure, these are addressed as well. Treatment during this trimester also encourages the proper positioning of the baby for birth and helps to prepare the body for labor. Acupuncture helps to improve the physical and emotional health of the mother, both before and during labor.
Research shows that women who use acupuncture experience shortened labor times with fewer complications, reduced rate of cesarean delivery, and less need for the use of oxytocin, pain medications and epidurals. Dr. Hunter often provides acupuncture treatments to promote labor and reduce pain, both at home and in a hospital setting.
Postpartum: Postpartum acupuncture can help to provide a faster and more complete recovery after delivery. It helps to shrink the uterus, stop bleeding, alleviate backaches, encourage lactation, relieve migraines, reduce fatigue, and improve postpartum depression. Herbs, massage and nutritional supplementation may also be used depending on the patient’s condition.
Conditions during pregnancy that may be alleviated by acupuncture and Chinese medicine:
- Morning sickness
- Spotting or breakthrough bleeding
- Backaches and sciatica
- Anxiety and depression
- Gestational hypertension
- Gestational diabetes
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Threatened miscarriage
- Breech presentation
- Premature labor
- Slow progression of labor
- Labor pain
- Labor induction
- Postpartum depression
- Blocked ducts/mastitis
- Lactation problems