Acupuncture in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting and wonderful time. However, with the many physical and hormonal changes that occur, it can also be a time of discomfort. Many pregnant women suffer from fatigue, nausea, backache and other conditions that are considered a "normal" part of pregnancy. Acupuncture is a safe, gentle and effective way to address these complaints, especially since many Western medications can't be used during this time.

Regular acupuncture during pregnancy sets the foundation for a healthy mother and baby. In addition, women who receive acupuncture during pregnancy often have a shorter and easier birth experience than women who don't receive acupuncture. Several European studies concluded that women who received acupuncture once a week during the last month of pregnancy had significantly shorter labor than women who did not receive any acupuncture.

Acupuncture is also useful in order to promote circulation to the uterus, support healthy egg maturation, and ensure healthy uterine lining, thereby enhancing your chances to sustain a healthy pregnancy. Following conception, acupuncture can prevent miscarriage by promoting overall health and proper circulation throughout the body. In addition, acupuncture assists the body in managing stress better and reduces anxiety.

Nausea and Pregnancy

Nausea during pregnancy is often dismissed as a minor disorder of pregnancy. As nausea is estimated to affect one third of all pregnancies it is worth considering the alternatives. Acupuncture is often very effective in reducing both the severity and incidence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy

Breech Presentation

Breech babies are ideally treated between 34 - 36 weeks gestation. This is often a one off treatment with women being shown how to continue treatment at home with a moxa stick ( a herb that has been shaped into a cigar like stick). The moxa stick is lit and held over specific places in the body to stimulate the acupuncture points.

Labour Presentation

Labour Preparation involves a series of four treatments weekly from 36 or 37 weeks to prepare for labour. Points are used according a woman's constitution and pregnancy history. These include points to ripen the cervix, to help position the baby in the best presentation for labour and to promote optimal energy and stamina for women to enter into labour. Research by Sue Lennox and Debra Betts in 2004, concluded that pre-birth acupuncture has clinically relevant benefits which include :

· Reduction in medical induction rates.

· Reduction in women receiving epidurals.

· Reduction in emergency caesarean sections