Can acupuncture help in pregnancy?
Acupuncture is an invaluable aid to help alleviate many of the most common problems associated with pregnancy, especially considering that medical drug intervention or even herbal medicines are usually contraindicated and therefore little or no treatment may otherwise be offered at all. Regular acupuncture, either throughout or just towards the end of pregnancy, can also help facilitate the right conditions for an easier and therefore less painful birth.
Recurrent miscarriage may can often be prevented through the use of regular acupuncture and herbs. A recent study has shown that acupuncture can almost half the miscarriage rate in women undergoing IVF (11).
Morning sickness can often be alleviated through acupuncture which has been confirmed in recent clinical trials (13, 14). Mild cases may require treatment 1-2 times a week.
Breech presentation up to 90% of breech babies can be turned with moxibustion, a special heat treatment used on acupuncture points instead of needles (8,9). Typically 1-5 treatments required.
Overdue birth induction. It is thought that acupuncture and transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS) may stimulate the release of prostaglandins and oxytocin (16) and most late births can usually be induced by acupuncture before reaching 14 days overdue. Typically 1-6 treatments required.
Other conditions for which acupuncture can provide relief during pregnancy include; SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction), sciatica, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, heartburn, haemorrhoids, constipation, rhinitis, hypertension, and edema (swollen ankles).
Can acupuncture help after having given birth?
After having given birth acupuncture can help resolve problems associated with the post-partum phase, as well as recovery generally, including speeding up post-operative healing, post natal depression, fatigue, mastitis, excess or insufficient milk production, haemorrhoids, vaginal discharge, prolonged bleeding or re-establishment of regular menstruation. Herbal medicines are also invaluable during this phase to improve lactation, as well as to re-build blood and energy levels.