Pregnancy: Obstetric Acupuncture | Labor & Delivery | Postpartum Treatments | Common Conditions

Obstetric Acupuncture

heartObstetric acupuncture offers safe, effective, and gentle care addressing the various conditions that arise during pregnancy, labor & delivery, as well as postpartum. Acupuncture has the advantage of providing women with the choice of drug free treatment and can successfully treat and cure a wide range of conditions.

Acupuncture treatments during pregnancy are 100% safe and benefits both Mother and Baby. Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture) has understood since ancient times that with pregnant patients, we are treating two people-the mother and her unborn child. With this in mind, babies may be influenced by what is termed ‘maternal toxins,’ resulting in a childhood tendency for higher fevers when sick, more frequent childhood illness and a tendency for skin problems such as eczema. Acupuncture during pregnancy works to clear maternal toxins as well as nourish and enhance fetal development. Additionally, acupuncture can calm morning sickness, treat insomnia, edema, sciatica and many other discomforts of pregnancy. It can strengthen the constitution of the mother-to-be which makes for a smoother pregnancy and healthier baby.

Furthermore, acupuncture can help maintain your energy and well being during your pregnancy. Routine treatments can reduce the chances of the necessity of medical intervention during birth which can often proceed from procedures such as turning a breech baby and a medically induced labor. Regular balancing treatments throughout pregnancy enhance the health of the mother, help prevent complications and influence the development of the baby. In fact, pregnant women respond so well to acupuncture that the very gentlest of treatments is all that is required. Expectant mothers find that their whole pregnancy experience is a much more enjoyable one with the help of acupuncture.

1st and 2nd Trimesters

2nd trimesterThere is an ancient Chinese acupuncture treatment that has been used for centuries to ensure a healthy, beautiful baby. The treatment entails the stimulation of one, sole acupuncture point called “Zhubin” in Chinese. When translated, it literally means “Guest Building “, referring to the fetus growing inside. Commonly, this point is also referred to as “happy baby” or “beautiful baby” point. This point also serves to calm the mind and build blood in the body. Studies have shown that the unborn child can be affected by the mother’s stress as early as week 17. Consequently, stress management during pregnancy is a vital component and can be readily managed with acupuncture. This point is traditionally needled in every trimester to ensure the full benefit.

In the first trimester, acupuncture can relieve morning sickness, fatigue/exhaustion, headaches/migraines and bleeding to name a few. Common conditions in the second trimester such as heartburn, hemorrhoids, constipation, edema and stress can be alleviated by acupuncture.

3rd Trimester

Third trimester treatments can bring much needed relief from sciatica, backaches, pubic and joint pain and even carpal tunnel syndrome. The benefits and relief can be immediate.

Also, this is the time when special attention is given to proper positioning of the baby. By 32 to 34 weeks, the acupuncturist will begin to encourage a head-down position. In the last four to six weeks, the mother will receive treatments to normalize and optimize labor.

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Labor and Delivery

pregnanseePre-Birth Treatment Series
Pre-birth treatment involves a series of four treatments on a weekly basis, starting from week 36, to prepare the body for labor. Points are customized to the mother’s constitution and pregnancy history. These include points to ripen the cervix, to help position the baby in the best presentation for labor and to promote optimal energy and stamina for women to enter into labor.

Breech Presentation
Breech babies are ideally treated between 34-36 weeks gestation. In this situation, moxibustion is most effective. Moxa has been found to have properties that can strengthen the body, relax the mind and stimulate Qi (energy). Often, the patient is shown how to continue treatment at home with the moxa stick.

Labor and Delivery
Acupuncture is used during labor itself mainly to facilitate pain relief, boost energy and promote an efficient labor. If needed, it can help stimulate contractions without the use of drugs.

Natural Inductions
Acupuncture is also used as a natural means to induce labor when overdue. More often than not, there is a strong emotional aspect linked to when women are overdue. Whether it is fear due to a first time delivery or a negative experience from a previous delivery, the mental/emotional state of the woman significantly impacts the physical progression of labor. Through acupuncture and various accessory techniques, the anxiety and apprehension can be relieved significantly enough to produce a blanket of physical relaxation, thereby allowing the body to naturally progress at its own rate in a more efficient manner.

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Postpartum Treatments

Typically after delivery, all the attention shifts to the newborn. Though this is natural, it is important to remember that this is also a very important time for the mother. Much care and attention is necessary for her as well in order to facilitate an efficient recovery.

Postpartum is one of the most critical times for a woman to receive regular preventative care from an acupuncturist. Acupuncture can often offset years of “suboptimal” lifestyle and stress in the first few weeks postpartum, as well as intercept abnormalities in lochial flow to rectify menstrual irregularities and prevent them from occurring. It can also prevent serious postpartum depression from occurring by addressing the normal recuperative cycle in the woman. In addition to restoring a mother's energy levels after the stress of birth and alleviating depression and anxiety, acupuncture can be used postpartum to relieve backache, perineal and many other forms of pain.

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Commonly Treated Conditions During Pregnancy

  • Threatened Miscarriage
  • Nausea and vomiting (morning sickness)
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Varicose veins
  • Hypersalivation
  • Acute and chronic urinary tract infections
  • Musculoskelatal conditions (low back pain, neck/shoulder pain, etc)
  • Fatigue exhaustion
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Thrush and abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Spotting during pregnancy
  • Itching in pregnancy
  • Sinusitis
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension
  • Edema
  • Breech and posterior position babies
  • Prebirth treatments for optimal delivery
  • Natural labor induction
  • Pain relief during labor
  • Insufficient lactation
  • Mastitis
  • Postpartum depression
  • Postpartum recovery
  • Afterpains
  • Miscarriage recovery

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