Women have been using acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal remedies are part of their pregnancy for centuries! Acupuncture in particular has been shown to be very safe when applied by experienced practitioners. The main benefit most women (and their doctors) enjoy about acupuncture is that there is nothing to be taken (ingested) as part of treatment. This is especially useful for women experiencing symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea. Acupuncture has been shown to be highly effective in alleviating these symptoms.
During pregnancy it is important to consult with practitioners who are highly experienced in caring for the special needs and limitations of pregnant women. Our practitioners see pregnant women as part of their daily practice at FGHG so you can be confident your practitioner is an expert with training and experience in supporting women in pregnancy. Both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be used with great success to support a healthy pregnancy and prepare your body for labour, birth and mothering.
Once your pregnancy is confirmed
We usually recommend weekly visits with your acupuncturist – particularly if you have any history of difficulty in conceiving, miscarriage, bleeding, cramping other issues in early pregnancy. Chinese herbal medicine may also be administered during this time, but not always. You may choose not to take herbs if you wish.
During this time we will focus on treating the many common complaints of early pregnancy (nausea, vomiting, anxiety, etc.) while optimising your health and well being, moderating stress and applying measures for miscarriage prevention. Appointments are often less frequent during second trimester unless issues arise which require treatment. Four to six weekly visits are usually adequate during this time when the pregnancy is progressing normally and well.
Around 30-34 weeks is a great time to check in with your acupuncturist / herbalist if you haven’t already. At this time we are starting a conversation about preparing for labour. Weekly visits from around 34 weeks ensure optimal fetal positioning and a weekly focus on helping you to move you closer to being ready to achieving a spontaneous labour and uncomplicated birth. Birth preparation during this time includes:
Weekly consultations with your acupuncturist to help you prepare physically and emotionally for birth, manage stress and improve your energy and stamina. Acupuncture also assists in preparing your cervix and uterus for birth, and helping your labour to start spontaneously and on time.
Our acupuncturists have great success in turning malpositioned or breech babies. This is most effective if the treatment is undertaken between 34 and 37 weeks, and the earlier you begin, the greater likelihood of success.
Acupuncture to induce labour
Acupuncture is often successful in inducing labour if you are overdue for your dates. Induction acupuncture provides an alternative step to medical induction and can help to minimise the possibility of associated interventions. Induction with acupuncture still enables a slow build to contractions, not suddenly starting intense contractions, therefore optimising your chances of an uncomplicated labour and natural birth.
Pain in labour
Your acupuncturist can be teach you and your partner how to use acupressure points during labour.
Check out our blog post for our Top Tips To Get Your Labour Started!