Pregnancy and childbirth may be natural, but they are also tough. Joint pain, morning sickness, the risk of early miscarriage, and difficult labor are just a few challenges women face. During pregnancy, a few acupuncture points must be avoided. However, acupuncture can be extremely helpful in supporting a healthy pregnancy. Here’s how.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture uses thin, sterile needles to gently penetrate the skin at specific points. It has been shown to have tremendous mental and physical health benefits including illness management, injury healing, and stress reduction. It has also shown the ability to support a pregnancy. Eastern thought focuses on the flow of Qi, or life force. Meanwhile, Western medicine claims that acupuncture causes chemical changes in the brain.
Lessening Early Miscarriage Risks
Most miscarriages occur during the first 12 weeks. Acupuncture promotes optimal health and wellbeing while regulating the thyroid, ovaries, and endometrial lining that are vital for a healthy pregnancy. It also helps to calm the body and mind. In addition, you will receive nutritional counseling, a personalized exercise plan, recommendations for lifestyle changes, and perhaps Chinese herbal medications designed to support your pregnancy.
Reducing Nausea and Pain
Some women experience only transient nausea, while others are sick all day. Western supplements such as B vitamins and ginger can help, but Eastern medicine takes a holistic approach to soothing the entire mind and body that can reduce or eliminate nausea and vomiting.
In later pregnancy, many women develop back pain and joint pain due to weight gain, looser ligaments, and a shifting center of gravity. Acupuncture, along with postural exercises, massage, and lifestyle changes, can dramatically reduce this pain.
Some acupuncture points can induce premature labor, so they must never be used during pregnancy. Notify your acupuncturist as soon as you know you are pregnant so that he or she can develop a treatment plan that addresses all your health concerns without putting your baby at risk.
Herbal remedies, including those designed to support pregnancy, are a major part of Eastern medicine. However, some women prefer not to ingest any remedies during pregnancy out of concern for possible effects on the baby. The use of herbal remedies is a highly personal decision. Only you can make the decision to use herbal remedies, with input from your physician and acupuncturist.
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To learn more about Santa Cruz CORE’s full line of health and wellness services or schedule an appointment, contact us today at 831-425-9500 (Santa Cruz) or 831-426-0608 (Watsonville).