Chinese Medicine During Pregnancy
Chinese Medicine can be a very helpful tool to support a happy and healthy pregnancy. Many women use Chinese medicine anywhere from once a week throughout their entire pregnancy, while others use it as conditions arise. It is very important to find an experienced, well trained practitioner who is knowledgeable in the appropriate and effective pregnancy acupuncture points. It can be a safe, comfortable and cost effective treatment for many problems that commonly develop during pregnancy.
Yvette Dellanini Ward, L.Ac,. holds an additional certification in Acupuncture Obstetrics with extensive experience and training in this specialty . She is certain to make sure each woman feels comfortable and relaxed during their sessions at Sage.
Below are some common conditions successfully treated during pregnancy.
- Prevent miscarriage – It can be especially useful if there has been a history of miscarriage. With acupuncture we are able to prevent uterine contractions, alleviate spotting or bleeding, relax the body and also provide a lifting and holding force in the uterus.
- Treat nausea, benefit digestion – For many women the digestive system becomes very sensitive. Acupuncture has been shown to alleviate nausea, treat heartburn, constipation and even alleviate hemorrhoids.
- Improve fatigue, reduce swelling and improve circulation – By supporting the body to keep a healthy balance we can benefit energy and circulation–anything from general edema to sinus congestion. This helps to create a pleasant state of well-being so pregnancy can be enjoyed to its fullest.
- Regulate blood pressure – Acupuncture can help to decrease hypertension and regulate blood flow throughout the body.
- Ease pain and discomfort – Throughout all stages of pregnancy many women experience discomfort, whether it be growing pains, low back pain, sciatic pain or carpal tunnel, acupuncture usually can help.
- Ease psychological issues – For many worry, anxiety and overall tension can increase with a pregnancy. Acupuncture can be deeply relaxing and reduce stress for the mother and developing baby. It also allows the flow of energy to remain open and can help prevent post-partum depression.
- Treat other conditions such as slow intrauterine development, lack of amniotic fluid, hemorrhaging, etc.
Acupuncture for Labor Preparation and Post Partum
Moxabustion has a high success rate to correct breech presentation. The technique is most effective between the 29th and 34th week, up to 36 weeks of pregnancy. The optimal time for effectiveness is 32-34 weeks, starting as early as possible. Past the 36-37th week it is more difficult as there is not as much room for the baby to turn.
Support smooth labor and delivery. When used with the appropriate timing and frequency acupuncture can be a very effective way to prepare the body for a smooth and comfortable labor and delivery. A recent study showed for women who used acupuncture regularly during their pregnancy had a decreased the time of “hard” labor. It is best to start the “labor preparation acupuncture” ideally around week 35 and have a treatment at least once a week from that point on.
The main strength of acupuncture for labor preparation is not to compete with an epidural; it is more to prolonged or eliminate the need for pain medications and decrease labor time. Many women actually won’t choose an epidural due to such quick labor time.
The main goals of Labor Preparation Acupuncture are:
- Quick Labor – we can utilize acupuncture points to prepare the cervix to relax and open with ease. Also use points that initiate a downward opening flow of energy, as well as reduce any blockages that may have developed during the development of the pregnancy.
- Ease pain – many of the points use relax the mind and body, improve circulation and most importantly strengthen the pelvic floor.
- Prevent tearing / episiotomy – We also focus improving the contractility of the perineum.
- Ease Fears and Stress – It has been shown the presence of fear and/or stress can actually increase pain sensations and cause more tension in the body. Reducing the emotional build-up from pregnancy can prove to be very helpful as well.
As part of your labor preparation you will also be given other recommendations of things you can be doing at home to prepare your body for an enjoyable birth experience.
- Post Due Date Labor Support – By needling “secret womb points” the acupuncture practitioner is able to direct energy towards the pelvis and stimulate a strong, moving energy flow. This can surge the release of Qi and blood to the pelvis. It can also help with stimulating uterine contractions as well as ease the transition into labor.
- Post-Partum Disorders – After labor acupuncture is a wonderful, safe and effective way to help a woman’s body heal and re-balance. The restoration a new mother’s health is imperative for her own well being and for her ability to be present for her newborn. Among the conditions that acupuncture can address after birth are: fatigue, postpartum vaginal discharge, postpartum depression, mastitis, insufficient or excessive lactation. If there has been caesarian section, acupuncture can help with the post operative healing as well.