Chinese Medicine can be a very helpful in supporting you during your pregnancy. Along with her professional team, Yvette will do all she can to ensure that you have a comfortable, safe, and fruitful pregnancy.
Since its increased popularity in the West, many women have begun turning to acupuncture as a natural means of easing their pregnancy and assuring a healthy gestation and delivery. Many women use Chinese medicine anywhere from once a week throughout their entire pregnancy, while others use it as conditions arise. When it comes to finding the right specialist, it is essential to look for someone with the skills and expertise necessary to support you.
Acupuncture can be used to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, increase circulation, increases endorphins and opioid release, and provide stress relief. Given the changes in your body with pregnancy, acupuncture treatment is the perfect fit due to its soothing properties.
FIRST AND SECOND TRIMESTER SUPPORT
Typically for first trimester, especially if there has been difficulty trying to conceive or history or miscarriage, we recommend once a week treatments- ideally until week 12, or at the very least week 9.
The second trimester is often times referred to as the “Bliss Trimester”. Many conditions like nausea or fatigue have passed and energy begins to improve. During this period it is recommended once a month support sessions for maintenance, although some ladies prefer every other week.
Conditions commonly treated during first and second trimester are;
- Prevent miscarriage – Early pregnancy can be especially useful if there has been a history of miscarriage. With acupuncture we are able to prevent uterine contractions, slow intrauterine development, lack of amniotic fluid,, relax the body, and provide a lifting and holding force in the uterus.
- Treat nausea, benefit digestion – 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 is effective to decrease hypertension and regulate blood flow throughout the body.
- Ease Pain and Discomfort - women experience discomfort, whether it be growing pains, low back pain, sciatic pain or carpal tunnel, acupuncture usually can help. Research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology finds that acupuncture can reduce pain in the lower back and pelvic region. In addition, a 2015 Cochrane Review for treating low back/pelvic pain in pregnancy has found acupuncture to be more effective in reducing pelvic pain than prenatal care.
- Headaches – Research shows acupuncture can dramatically reduce pregnancy-induced headaches. Women who use acupuncture for headaches require little to no pain medication following treatment.
- Sleep Problems – Women who receive acupuncture treatments regularly report sleeping better during their pregnancy.
- 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. – A 2010 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology showed that certain acupuncture treatments can decrease the severity of depression symptoms. 63% of the women in the study responded well to their depression-specific acupuncture treatment.
THIRD TRIMESTER SUPPORT
LABOR PREPARATION- Usually Beginning in week 34-35
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.
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 and need for pain medications or epidural. In addition to supporting labor transitions, acupuncture has also been shown to provide the following benefits:
The main goals of Labor Preparation Acupuncture are:
- Quicken 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. Many of the points addressed by acupuncture relax the mind and facilitate the release of endorphins. This provides exceptional pain relief without the need for medication.
- 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 recommendations on exercise, diet and other lifestyle suggestions to prepare your body for an enjoyable birth experience.
Moxabustion has a high success rate to correct breech presentation. Moxibustion works on the same principles as acupuncture, but instead of needles, the acupuncturist burns long sticks of mugwort herb near acupuncture points shown to turn breech babies. 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. For our patients we will customize moxa recommendations as well as an acupuncture treatment to assist.
POST DUE DATE LABOR INDUCTION ASSISTANCE
By needling “secret womb points” the acupuncture practitioner is able to direct energy towards the pelvis and stimulate energy and blood flow. This help surge the release of Qi and blood to the pelvis in areas that may have become blocked. Certain points can also help with the transitions of the cervix and uterus, to support a smooth transition into labor.
THE FOURTH TRIMESTER – POST PARTUM
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. We provide support both physically and mentailly and are sure to include dietatry and lifestyle recommendations. We do all we can to create a nurturing and healing focus in the transition to motherhood.
Contact the Sage Wellness Center today to experience true relaxation and the highest grade of wellness care. Please call (650) 343-7899 to schedule your complimentary acupuncture consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.