So...you're growing a tiny human. Congratulations! That is fantastic news. Pregnancy is such an exciting time, but it can also be a time fraught with exhaustion, nausea, aches, pains and a wide range of health issues. Did you know that Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are fantastic tools to help expectant mothers navigate their health issues? Even though your body is undergoing many changes (and growing a tiny human) it is possible to maintain a high level of health from conception to birth and beyond! Read on to find out more.
The health issues that Acupuncture can treat varies depending on how far along your pregnancy is.
In the first trimester of pregnancy (up to week 12) your Acupuncturist will focus on setting your pregnancy up to have a stable foundation. This means helping your body to nourish yourself and your baby as well as supporting the rapid growth of the baby, uterus and lining. Treatments are focused around preventing miscarriage as well a mitigating the intense early pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue/exhaustion, nausea and morning sickness. If you start feeling fatigue, dizziness, body aches, nausea, vomiting or experience spots of vaginal bleeding you may be in need of this kind of support. At this time Acupuncture is carried out twice per week and then once per week until you are through the first trimester. Chinese herbs may also be taken at this time to help strengthen the uterus and support the pregnancy.
During the second trimester of pregnancy (week 13 - week 27) your Acupuncturist will work to regulate your endocrine, digestive and nervous systems in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy. This means that they will be working to balance your hormones and address some of the pregnancy-related health complaints that you may be experiencing. These can include lower back or pelvic pain, headaches, digestive upset (including heart burn or reflux), anxiety or depression. If you’re experiencing ongoing painful symptoms then Acupuncture may be needed weekly however most expectant mothers just need monthly tune-ups at this stage.
The third trimester of pregnancy (up to week 40) is when your Acupuncturist works to prepare your body for labour and delivery. Women generally see their Acupuncturist monthly until around week 36 and then start attending weekly again. This is so that there is plenty of time to prepare your body and help all the aches and pains of the later stages of pregnancy. From week 36 your Acupuncturist will make sure that your cervix is ripening and your body is getting ready for labour. Most Acupuncturists will not treat for actual labour induction until about week 39 or 40 and this is completely safe as long as there aren’t any serious complications in your pregnancy. Labour induction using Acupuncture start to stimulate uterine contractions and helps the cervix to soften. This begins a hormonal process that stimulates the body’s endocrine system to release the hormone oxytocin (amongst others). This means that labour inductions with Acupuncture are a much more natural and gentle process then Western inductions. What is important to recognise is that Acupuncture will not force anything to happen but what it CAN do is prepare your body so that it is in it’s best shape for labour.
In the fourth trimester (wait, there's a fourth?!) Asian cultures have preserved traditions of supporting mothers for the first month after delivering a child. But in Australia you’re expected to be back looking after your family and home within days of giving birth. In the weeks after labour your Acupuncturist is there to provide support for your mental and physical recovery. Treatments can start again as soon as your feel ready and are generally every week or fortnight for about a month. This is when your Acupuncturist will work to improve your sleep, your energy levels as well as to make sure you have adequate milk supply. Acupuncture can also offer solutions to post-natal issues such as abdominal cramping, hairless, constipation, anxiety or depression and issues with urination.
We can even provide needle-free Acupuncture for babies.
Are there any risks or side effects of Acupuncture during pregnancy?
If done correctly by a professional the side effects are minimal (if any). Acupuncture has been used by pregnant women for thousands of years and is safe. There may be some redness, itching or soreness at the site of the needle but this is rare and passes quickly.
I’m not pregnant.
Can I still come in for Acupuncture?
Definitely! Find out about our general Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine services.
If you would like any more information, have any questions or would like to make a booking please feel free to get in touch via phone (0408 402 512 / 1300 067 836), via email (email@example.com) or book online
PLEASE NOTE: In saying all of this, its super important to listen to your body. What does it want? What is it telling you? Is it saying that you need something in particular? It’s really important to gather information to make the choices that are right for you and your body. This information isn’t personal medical advice – rather it’s a guideline on ways that could help you to live a healthier, happier lifestyle. It is always wise to consult with a qualified health practitioner before starting any new herbs, supplements or dietary and lifestyle programs.