Yes. Fully trained, Licensed acupuncturists know which acupuncture points are helpful during pregnancy and which points should be avoided. Certain points on the hands and shoulders, and around the lower leg, ankle, and low back and abdomen are contraindicated during most of pregnancy. Unlike many other therapies and medications, it is perfectly safe to begin or continue Acupuncture treatment when pregnant.
What conditions can acupuncture help with during pregnancy?
Some of the most commonly treated pregnancy related conditions in the Acupuncture clinic include:
·Colds & Flus during pregnancy
·Digestion – Constipation, Diarrhoea, Heartburn, Indigestion & other issues
·Gynae - premature cervical ripening, labour preparation
·Mental – Anxiety, stress, palpitations,
·Miscarriage – Help prevent Habitual or spontaneous miscarriages
·Nausea & Vomiting – Morning sickness, dizziness, lassitude, fatigue & much more
·Oedema – Retention of excess fluid
·Pain - Back Pain, ligament pain, Headaches
·Skin – Urticaria (Itching), Aggravated pre-existing skin conditions (i.e.) Eczema, Psoriasis & much more
·Sleep – Insomnia, dream disturbed sleep
·Urination - Urinary tract Infections
If you are experiencing any of these or other pregnancy side effects, let your acupuncturist know so that your treatments can be tailored accordingly.
When should I start and how often should I go?
If you are already pregnant, it’s a good idea to see an acupuncturist as soon as possible to help address morning sickness and other common first-trimester symptoms. In a healthy pregnancy, you may only need acupuncture every other week or once a month as a tune up, to ensure that things are balanced and flowing smoothly.
If you have experienced complications or pregnancy loss in the past, more frequent treatments may be recommended, especially during the first trimester. This is so that you get the sustained support required to keep your body healthy and strong over the course of your pregnancy. Toward the end of any pregnancy, typically from week 36, it is advisable to come in more often to help prepare you for labour and avoid the need for chemical induction.
My baby is breech, can acupuncture help?
Moxibustion is a valuable tool in correcting breech position. It involves using a Chinese herb called Moxa (Artemisia argyi), commonly known as ‘Mugwort’. For external use Moxa is compressed and rolled into a cigar-shaped herbal stick. Moxa sticks are then lit and held over the acupuncture point Zhiyin because it is the most dynamic point to activate the uterus. It is located on the outer, lower edge of both little toenails.
Moxa has a tonifying and warming effect, which promotes movement and activity. The nature of heat is also rising. This warming and raising effect is utilised to encourage the baby to become more active and lift its bottom up in order to gain adequate momentum to summersault into the head down position. This technique can also be used to reposition transverse presentation, a situation where the baby’s has its shoulder or back pointing down, or is lying sideways across the abdomen. This is typically carried out around week 34.
Practitioners will then instruct women on how to locate the appropriate acupuncture point and demonstrate how to safely apply moxa at home.
Can acupuncture help with labor?
When it’s almost time for your baby to make his or her appearance in the world, acupuncture can help prepare you for labour and delivery. It can therefore often avoid the need for chemical induction. Stress and anxiety are two of the biggest factors that women battle during pregnancy, labour, and delivery. Acupuncture can help significantly with reducing stress and anxiety in these moments.
Should I continue Acupuncture after the birth?
Acupuncture as after-care for new mothers is really important. Fatigue and depression are common symptoms after delivery as your new role begins amidst a flurry of hormones. Regular acupuncture appointments are great for helping moms recover and regain their strength after giving birth. It can aid recovery from C-section and speed up the process. For breast feeding mothers, it can promote lactation.
Hannah O'Connell Acupuncture, Orchard Wellness Centre, 1 St Anthony's Terrace, Harmony Row, Ennis, Co.Clare Tel: 0867777897