During pregnancy, acupuncture can be used as required to address a wide range of concerns from indigestion, nausea and vomiting to aches and pains. Acupuncture can also be used as a routine treatment to prepare the body for delivery and to help turn a breech baby.
Acupuncture is only used on an as-needed basis during pregnancy. Treatments are shorter than usual and work with minimal stimulation on a number of points known to be safe in pregnancy.
From the first trimester, acupuncture can help with:
- Nausea and vomiting (including morning sickness
- Anxiety and depression
It can also be used to treat conditions linked to later stages of pregnancy like:
- Body aches and pain (ribs, neck, lower back)
Routine Preparation for Childbirth
Acupuncture can be used to help prepare the body for delivery. Treatment is given once a week from week 37 or 38 until delivery. The selection of points help tonify qi and blood in the body, ripen the cervix, relax ligaments and (if necessary) encourage the descent of the baby.
Acupuncture and moxibustion can be used to help turn a breech baby. This involves needling certain points and/or burning moxa (a chinese herb) over an acupuncture point on the small toe for 20 minutes a day for 10 consecutive days.
This protocol can either be done entirely at the practice or as a combination visits to the practice plus home treatment. In cases where home treatment is desired, we supply smokeless moxa sticks and demonstrate the home treatment method. We ask you to check in with the practice at about day 5 to assess progress.
The optimum time to begin treatment is at 34 weeks, but the process can be effective as late as 38/39 weeks.
Acupuncture can be used as a more natural form of induction when labour is not progressing and a medical induction has been planned. Please talk to your midwife to be sure she is happy with acupuncture support prior to a medical induction.
A due date is only ever an estimated date for delivery. We do not recommend using acupuncture for induction unless a medical induction has been planned.
Acupressure Support During Labour
Details of how your partner can support you during labour using acupressure is available on the following site https://acupuncture.rhizome.net.nz thanks to a special free downloadable booklet put together by leading world expert in the field, Debra Betts.
The site also contains links to youtube videos demonstrating how to best find the points, and testimonials from the women and professionals who have used them.
An app is also available for download.
If you want further help identifying and locating points, or practicing suitable pressure, I’m happy to provide practical sessions for both partners.
Heavenly Star Acupuncture run a dedicated Fertility & Pregnancy feed, with useful articles and links to support pregnant women, those wishing to become pregnant and those who have just given birth. Visit Heavenly Star Acupuncture - Fertility & Pregnancy on Facebook.