Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can effectively be used in many stages of pregnancy. There has been published research in the following areas:
Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy
At our clinic we use acupuncture to help women get immediate relief from nausea. The NIH (National Institute of Health) Consensus statement on acupuncture (1997) reviewed all the available studies on acupuncture and found that acupuncture is effective and safe for nausea. All studies reviewed showed that acupuncture is safe to use in pregnancy.
Treatment of Nausea with Chinese Medicine:
2-3x per week in uncomplicated cases
Treatment daily for protracted, difficult cases
Herbs/homeopathics/home remedies are sometimes recommended.
At our clinic we have had a 90% success rate in turning breech position babies. Use of Chinese Medicine to correct breech position has been used since ancient times. A large study published in JAMA (Journal of The American Medical Association) has validated this effective treatment. See study.
Cardini F, Weixin H. Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1580-4.
How breech position is treated:
An empirical point on the small toe has been known for centuries for its effect on the fetus. Moxibustion (Mugwort herb rolled into a cigar-like stick) is burned over this acu-point to heat the area. The technique is safe, simple, non-invasive, painless and well tolerated.
This is best done after 34 weeks. Treatment is performed everyday for 7 days followed by ultrasound and continued if necessary.
Acupuncture to Prepare for Labor
Acupuncture can be used to induce labor for uncomplicated, healthy pregnancies. This includes no prior C-sections. It is important to work with your nurse midwife or Ob/gyn during this period to monitor health of the baby and the integrity of the amniotic fluid. See study.
Lee H, Ernst E. Acupuncture for labor pain management: A systematic review. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Nov;191(5):1573-9.
Acupuncture helps put a woman in control of her labor. Initiate acupuncture treatment 5-14 days after due date. Research has found that it takes 30-60 hours to start labor with acupuncture. Acupuncture for labor induction is about trying something natural to promote labor. Once a woman is induced by medical means it leads to more intense contractions because the natural pain-killing endorphins do not have a chance to build up.
Pregnancy-Related Back Pain/Sciatica
Many women experience back pain/sciatica due to postural changes as their pregnancy progresses. Acupuncture and massage can help alleviate the pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
As pregnancy progresses some women get swelling leading to carpal tunnel. Many MD’s recommend acupuncture and pregnancy massage as a safe alternative to treat this condition. See review study.
Goodyear-Smith F, Arroll B. What can family physicians offer patients with carpal tunnel syndrome other than surgery? A systematic review of nonsurgical management. Ann Fam Med. 2004 May-Jun;2(3):267-73. Review.
We have consulted with many pregnant women who are suffering from colds and coughs while pregnant. We can provide an alternative treatment to help mom.
A nourishing and pain relieving treatment by a trained specialist. Massage by a knowledgeable therapist can be done throughout pregnancy. The acupressure points that are contraindicated during pregnancy are avoided.
Click to learn more about pre-natal massage here.
See study listed below.
Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Diego M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C. Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. Int J Neurosci. 2005 Oct;115(10):1397-413.
Happy Baby Treatment
There is a special acupuncture treatment protocol used at 3 and 6 months of pregnancy to promote happy babies.