Traditional Chinese medicine can ease a woman through the many physical and emotional changes that occur during each trimester of her pregnancy and help to ensure a comfortable and healthy pregnancy. As she approaches her due date, weekly acupuncture treatments can help prepare a mother for a smooth labor. Acupuncture can also be an effective tool to turn breech babies, induce labor, and support a woman through the post-partum phase.
Common conditions treated during each trimester of pregnancy:
- Morning sickness
- Frequent urination
- Miscarriage prevention
- Colds and sinus congestion
- Digestion irregularities
- Body aches
- Varicose veins
- Back pain
- Muscle cramps
- Breech presentation
- Delayed labor
In one out of every six pregnancies, the baby turns into the breech, or upright, position. Research now shows that acupuncture and moxibustion can successfully turn the baby back into cephalad (head-down) position. In some cases, as little as a single treatment can turn the baby. Moxa is a plant used as a heat source to stimulate specific acupuncture points, and in addition to its use in the office, the patient may be sent home with a moxa stick and instructions on how to continue treatment. A mother should always check with her midwife or doctor to ensure that the baby should be turned.
Labor Preparation & Induction
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture is used to help a woman prepare for and, when necessary, induce labor when her birthing time is getting close or past due.
Research shows that women who receive acupuncture for 4-6 weeks before giving birth have a significantly shorter and less painful labor than those that do not. Labor ‘prep’ treatments help to relax the pelvic floor muscles, encourage the baby to lower in position, and help alleviate a mother’s stress and anxiety.
Acupuncture is also an effective tool to induce labor, providing a natural alternative to induction with patocin. By increasing blood circulation to the uterus, stimulating the pelvic floor muscles, and assisting in softening and ripening the cervix, acupuncture can help create a comfortable and conducive environment to encourage the baby to release oxytocin. This hormone signals the maternal hormones to begin contractions and initiate labor.
Traditional Chinese Medicine can also be an invaluable tool during post-partum recovery. According to the principles of TCM, a new mother loses much of her vital energy during childbirth. The post-partum period is an important time for her to regain her energy and strength so that she can continue to care for herself and her new baby.
Common conditions treated during post-partum recovery:
- Body aches and pains
- Healing from incisions
- Insufficient lactation
- Persistent lochia
- Urinary difficulty
Acupuncture can assist in Fertility treatments as well, please click to learn more.
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