Pregnancy and Acupuncture

Nausea during Pregnancy

Acupuncture is often very effective in reducing both the severity and incidence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Research from Australia highlighted that women receiving traditional acupuncture (where points where chosen according to an individual diagnosis) experienced faster relief when compared to those groups receiving routine prescribed points or “sham” acupuncture. This research also looked at the successful pregnancy outcomes for the women involved, concluding that “acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy”

Muscular Skeletal Pain

Back pain, rib pain, sciatica and symphysis pubis pain are common in pregnancy and can all be markedly reduced with acupuncture. Research from Sweden concluded that when compared to physiotherapy, acupuncture was the treatment of choice for symphysis pubis and sacroiliac pain.

Breech & Posterior Babies

The New Zealand Evidence Based practice guidelines for care of women with Breech presentation recommends that moxibustion may be offered to women from 33 weeks gestation. This follows research from Italy that demonstrated moxibustion can have a significant effect in helping to turn breech babies. Ideally treatment is at 34 –35 weeks, but can still be useful when used later in the pregnancy. Techniques can also help babies that are not in the optimal position prior to birth, such as those in a posterior position

Hypertension

Acupuncture can have an important role in assisting to reduce high blood pressure, especially if treatment is commenced early when hypertension is first noted. The effectiveness of acupuncture will be reflected in the improved blood pressure readings and blood tests used by midwives and specialists to detect possible complications. As hypertension has the potential to escalate quickly, ongoing medical monitoring remains essential throughout pregnancy.

Labour Preparation

Three to four weeks prior to the due date a treatment to prepare the pelvis and cervix can be commenced. This is followed by one treatment per week until labour begins. Research from Germany indicated the potential for a more efficient active stage of labour. A New Zealand study with midwives indicated a reduction in women requiring medical intervention, including medical induction and caesarean section.

Induction

Acupuncture can provide a gentle inducement to labour if the baby is overdue and can be an effective alternative to a medical induction. Research from Norway on the use of acupuncture for women with premature rupture of membranes (PROM) concluded that “Ideally acupuncture treatment should be offered to all women with PROM and other women who wish to use this method to facilitate their birth and keep it normal”

Other pregnancy problems we can treat

Treatment can be used to relive a variety of conditions including:

  • Anaemia
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Carpal Tunnel syndrome
  • Heartburn
  • Haemorrhoids and Vulval varices
  • Insomnia
  • Oedema
  • Headaches
  • Sinus problems
  • Threatened miscarriage
  • Tiredness and exhaustion
  • Thrush
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