Acupuncture is very effective for issues experienced in pregnancy and for labor preparation. Often I spend so much time treating women, I don’t sit down and put my thoughts on paper. First things first, Chinese medicine has a ton to offer for preconception and fertility, pregnancy and post partum. From natural menstrual cycle balancing, to “day of” IVF transfer protocols, acupuncture and Chinese medicine are great for helping make babies. Once conception has taken place, it is important to support mom and baby through each phase of development.
The first trimester is a tricky time, where mom may not be sharing the good news, and might be pretty nervous. Stress reduction and supporting normal fetal development at this phase is crucial. The treatment also supports implantation and prevents miscarriage. Nausea and food aversions may be an issue, and acupuncture proves to be very useful for this as well. Treatments at this time can also ease fatigue and mood swings. This is also the time that certain superpowers develop, specifically superhero sense of smell. These ladies can walk into a room and tell you “there’s a banana in the trash in the corner, and it smells terrible. “ It’s weird, but a good sign.
The second trimester: As mom’s body begins to noticeably change to the outside world, she feels the changes on the inside too and not always in a good way! Back pain, round ligament pain and heart burn can begin to rear their heads. Pregnancy produces an environment of heat and dampness in the body according to Chinese medicine. These symptoms can be relieved with acupuncture and diet therapy to cool the heat and dry the damp. This is the time when mom goes from feeling like she “just looks fat,” to looking like she is definitely pregnant. This is a nice treat for waning self-esteem. Energy is usually good and women enjoy light exercise comfortably.
As the third trimester unfolds, mom may just feel big. Bellies get heavy, and the mounds of pillows used to support them at night approach mountainous levels. Swollen ankles, high blood pressure, back pain, and pelvic pain are all possibilities.If the baby is breech treatment can be done to turn the baby. This should ideally be done at 34-36 weeks. Starting 3 weeks or so prior to her due date, the focus of the acupuncture treatments can switch from symptom relief to preparing the body for labor. Points are done to soften and open the cervix. Sometimes there is fear that the treatments may bring on labor too early, but I have never experienced this to be true. If it was, trust me, I could make a lot of money getting babies out on demand. What I have experienced is easier labors, more vaginal deliveries, and happier moms.
Lindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist. She is passionate about healthy , happy living and a regular blogger. For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.