Pregnancy is a time of incredible growth and change for both the expectant mother and the baby. Because so many changes occur in such a short time, mothers-to-be might experience nausea, pain, and even depression. But, acupuncture may be able to help – in fact, there might be several benefits of acupuncture that you are unaware of.
Benefits of Acupuncture for Fertility and Pregnancy
There are definitely some advantages when it comes to incorporating acupuncture into your preconception, prenatal and postpartum care plan. In fact, this traditional Chinese medicine is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, including for treatment in obstetrics & gynecology. With this type of complementary holistic care, you can approach each trimester with confidence.
Improve Fertility with Acupuncture
Preparing for pregnancy can be a daunting experience, especially for women who are dealing with infertility. Acupuncture can improve fertility and reduce stress levels, which can increase the chances of conception. (This includes those struggling with infertility.)
Acupuncture regulates energy throughout the body. Endorphins, which are hormones that make you feel good, are released when needles are strategically placed in specific points in the meridians of the body.
Women’s health is a critical aspect of fertility, and acupuncture offers a natural solution to support the body’s reproductive functions. Medical intervention is not always necessary when it comes to conceiving, and acupuncture can offer an alternative approach that is gentle yet effective. By stimulating the body’s energy flow, acupuncture can activate the body’s natural healing abilities to promote conception and improve overall health.
Reduce Unwanted Stress
As mentioned above, acupuncture stimulates natural feel-good emotions which can lead to reduced stress, whether or not you’re pregnant. Additionally, numerous studies show that acupuncture could be effective in reducing anxiety without medication.
Reduce Pain Throughout Pregnancy
As your body progresses through the first trimester, second trimester, and third trimester of pregnancy, your body goes through numerous changes that can cause discomfort and pain.
Pain reduction from acupuncture treatment varies with each individual. Some pregnant women notice immediate relief, while others require routine sessions at the advice of their licensed acupuncturist.
All that said, pain reduction is one of the largest benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy, helping to ease pregnancy symptoms as your due date approaches:
- Lower Back Pain
- Morning Sickness (including hyperemesis gravidarum)
- Pelvic Pain
- High Blood Pressure
Supplementing Alternative Medicine
Moxibustion is a form of therapy where the acupuncturist burns moxa, an herb, above the body. This stimulates certain points on the body, and can be used in conjunction with acupressure and acupuncture techniques. It could also help when the baby is in a breech presentation.
Acupuncture in the Delivery Room & Postpartum
Are you looking for a more natural approach to your labor and delivery? Acupuncture may present as an alternative to epidurals or pain medication in easing labor pain.
According to an evidence-based Cochrane review, labor pain was less intense and the labor/birthing process was shortened for women opting for acupuncture. This type of alternative medicine may also lessen the need of a C-section.
The benefits of acupuncture don’t stop when the baby comes. Hormonal changes, low back pain and stress after delivery can all be addressed with acupuncture. Additionally, if you have been diagnosed with postpartum depression, it’s worth asking your primary care physician or psychologist if you can try acupuncture, as it doesn’t cause symptoms like many medications can.
Potential Side Effects or Risks
Acupuncture is often used as a complementary route to traditional medicine. It is important to consult with your healthcare provider before undergoing any acupuncture treatments during pregnancy to ensure that it is appropriate for your specific situation. While acupuncture is generally considered safe during pregnancy, there are a few minor risks that should be taken into consideration.
It’s extremely important to choose a reputable and licensed acupuncturist who follows proper hygiene protocols and knows how to insert acupuncture needles correctly. Over the years there had been some debate about whether or not acupuncture could lead to premature labor or miscarriage. But, it’s important to note that numerous studies have been done on “forbidden” points, and that there is no objective evidence to suggest that pregnant women who receive acupuncture treatment are any more likely than non-treated women to experience premature labor or miscarriage.
Bleeding or Bruising at Acupuncture Points
There’s a small risk of minor bleeding or bruising at the acupuncture point after treatment. These are usually minor occurrences and resolve quickly.
Dizziness or Feeling Faint
Slight dizziness associated with acupuncture is a rare side effect that usually resolves quickly. This type of vasovagal response can cause dizziness, nausea, and feeling faint.
Schedule Prenatal and Postpartum Acupuncture With Meridian HealthCare
When it comes to pregnancy, acupuncture can be a beneficial alternative to improve overall health. This ancient practice has many positive effects over the course of a woman’s pregnancy journey, from enhanced fertility and improved mental health to relief from pain.
Ultimately, acupuncture has much to offer pregnant women and is worth considering if you want to take a more natural approach to managing symptoms throughout your pregnancy. We hope this blog helped shed some light on the overall safety of acupuncture benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy.
Meridian HealthCare has licensed acupuncturists who provide plans tailored to pregnant women and the concerns they may be experiencing. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions – comfort is waiting for you with Meridian HealthCare!