Acupuncture for Pregnancy
Acupuncture may be used for the discomfort often regarded as 'normal' part of pregnancy that just has to be endured. Acupuncture can also assist with a range of pregnancy related conditions, offering an alternative to taking medication.
Headaches & Pain
The physical demands and changes in a body during pregnancy can cause discomfort or exacerbate existing pain or injury. As a pregnancy progresses, rising levels of progesterone, estrogen and relaxin can cause laxity and joint instability. Common discomforts such as backache, sciatica, pelvic pain, heartburn, constipation, heartburn and carpal tunnel syndrome can be supported with acupuncture.
Breech presentation affects 3-4% of pregnancies and evidence shows that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment that can increase the chances of turning a breech baby. The treatment utilizes moxibustion, a hot herbal stick that helps to increase fetal movement, which can help turn a baby. Expecting mums are advised how to continue to perform moxibustion at home following a treatment.
Preparing and encouraging labour
Pre birth acupuncture is designed to prepare the body for labour and birth and is traditionally done weekly from 36 weeks. A study of 169 women who all received pre-birth acupuncture showed that there was fewer inductions, less need for epidurals and fewer emergency caesarians. It helps to minimise the need for medical intervention by calming the nerves, relaxing the tendons and encouraging the cervix to ripen (creating prostaglandins) and oxytocin, the hormone that triggers contractions.
Nausea & Morning Sickness
Morning sickness can vary from mild nausea to hyperemesis gravidarum (severe vomitting) and there is good research into the use of acupuncture to help. Acupuncture treatment is aimed at strengthening the energetic function of the digestive system, correcting any underlying disharmonies and reducing stress that can exacerbate morning sickness.
While awareness around mental health is on the rise, anxiety, depression and stress changes through pregnancy are poorly recognised and understood. Depression during pregnancy is now being increasingly recognised as being a concern with similar rates occurring as with postpartum depression. Research has found women who received depression-specific acupuncture experience a bigger reduction in symptoms than control groups.
Post Natal Support
Traditionally in Chinese Medicine a nourishing treatment is given to the mother within 30 days of having her baby to encourage the mum back to a good state of health and replenish her after labour. Acupuncture can also support breastfeeding problems, persistent lochia, urinary problems, C-Section scars and postpartum recovery.
Alessia, NHS Nurse
"Vanessa's helped me through my ivf journey, from pre embryo transfer to pregnancy! I am now almost 39 weeks pregnant and she always knows what I need. She is an active listener and is helping my carpal tunnel as well as other pregnancy side effects! I highly recommend her treatments! "