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Acupuncture is known to be helpful with fertility, but did you know that it can transform your pregnancy as well? This ancient Chinese medical practice utilizes needles to stimulate specific parts of the body and looks at treating the whole person and all systems as one. After having an incredibly eventful and risky early delivery of my first child, I found acupuncture, along with clean eating, meditation and exercise, to be a significant help in ensuring that my second pregnancy encountered no risk at all.
Acupuncture has been used in maternity care for thousands of years and has been found to possibly relieve some of the most common pregnancy challenges.
Morning sickness: Your morning (or all day) sickness can be mediated by weekly acupuncture sessions. Acupuncture for morning sickness is best started at the onset of symptoms, typically around the sixth week.
Pregnancy aches and pains: Acupuncture can be incredibly effective in treating the lower backaches and pains associated with pregnancy. I found amazing relief for a hip bursitis flare brought on by my regular workout regimen, in addition to work done to relieve lower back pain.
High blood pressure: Acupuncture’s ability to lower blood pressure has been acknowledged by both Western and Eastern medicine. In my case, as a high-risk second pregnancy, keeping blood pressure low was my key focus. Every time I started to see the numbers rise, I would schedule a session and see them fall again within 24 hours, lasting about a week or two and helping to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Movement of breech babies: A combination of acupuncture and moxibustion (the burning of an herb on specific points on the mama’s pinky toes) can aid in encouraging baby to change position. It’s most effective when done between 32-35 weeks.
Preparation for labor: About three to four weeks prior to due dates, acupuncturists can use techniques to encourage your body to prepare for labor through encouraging the cervix to soften and efface, in addition to helping to move the hips in to position.
Induction and shortening of labor: After visiting my OB’s office Tuesday afternoon, we had been assured that our baby would not be making her entrance any time soon and that we were destined for our scheduled C-section after trying everything possible to have a VBAC. Six hours after a focused Labor Induction acupuncture session, my water had broken and the contractions were two minutes apart. Our little girl entered the world within 24 hours of the session, with our doctors amazed at the progress. Acupuncture is able to both induce and shorten labor and is often allowed as a complement to hospital labor protocol.
Getting acupuncture regularly, or at least once per month during pregnancy, can be a fantastic complement to your regular prenatal care visits. Be sure to look for an acupuncturist with a prenatal specialty in addition to being licensed. An acupuncture regimen made a world of difference in my comfort, stress levels, and was suited to each new challenge that pregnancy brought and I am eternally grateful to the team for aiding in the birth of our beautiful girl.
>> Pressure can cure more than you think. See these acupressure cures for many aches and pains!