Pregnant? Here's What You Should Know About Acupuncture

Pregnant? Here's What You Should Know About Acupuncture

Many conflicting adjectives can be used to describe pregnancy and childbirth — miraculous, beautiful, painful, uncomfortable, anxiety-inducing. The changes that your body undergoes to nurture a new life, and bring it into the world, are significant and, sometimes, not all that pleasant.

To help you focus on the more positive aspects of pregnancy and childbearing, the team of certified acupuncturists here at Family Wellness Acupuncture want to outline a few of the roles that acupuncture can play.

Nausea and vomiting

When you first become pregnant, your hormone levels start to fluctuate, and a new hormone is introduced — human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Researchers believe that this new hormone is responsible for what is known as morning sickness.

Morning sickness can strike at any time of day, despite its name, and leads to nausea and vomiting, especially during the first trimester.

Acupuncture can help offset this gastrointestinal issue as it improves the flow of energy and healing resources in your body for optimal function and balance. One recent study among women who were hospitalized with severe morning sickness found that acupuncture was highly effective in easing nausea and vomiting, increasing food intake, and shortening the hospital stays of these women.

Pregnancy-related pain

Pain in your lower back and pelvis aren’t uncommon during pregnancy, especially later in your pregnancy when your cute baby bump turns into far more than a bump.

This added pressure in your pelvis and spine can block meridians in your body, and through acupuncture, we can restore the flow of energy to combat pain by blocking pain signaling, reduce inflammation, and encourage the release of endorphins, which are your body’s natural painkillers.

Acupuncture is also a great therapy should you suffer from headaches during your pregnancy. Using this practice, we can reduce tension headaches and also treat migraine headaches.

As well, if you have any postpartum pain, acupuncture is a great way to kickstart your body’s healing resources after childbirth or a Cesarean section.

Stress and depression reduction

Pregnancy can be a time of great stress, whether it’s your first pregnancy or your third. A great way to reduce stress is to correct imbalances in your energy flow through acupuncture.

For women who develop symptoms of depression during pregnancy, acupuncture can help. In one study, 57 pregnant women who displayed symptoms of depression were divided into three treatment categories: 1) Acupuncture; 2) Treatment as usual (TAU); and 3) Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). Researchers found that, “there were significantly lower depression scores in the acupuncture group versus TAU and PMR.”

Childbirth

Many women turn to acupuncture to induce labor, reduce labor pain, correct the positioning of the baby (a breech position), and just generally ease the physical and mental stresses of the delivery process.

Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?

Acupuncture, for most any health issue, has an excellent safety record, but it’s important that you only seek this therapy from licensed practitioners, such as those here at our practice.

To explore further the benefits of acupuncture during and after your pregnancy, please contact our office in Irvine, California, to schedule your acupuncture appointments today.

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