Acupuncture is an ancient healing modality  with time-tested strategies for addressing  internal disharmonies  causing  the manifestation of  disease.  The treatment of pregnancy  with Chinese medicine has  written literature dating as far back as the Shang  dynasty (1500-1000 BCE).   Acupuncture should be the first line of therapy during pregnancy, when the dangers of even  simple over-the-counter remedies make the  varied complaints of pregnancy difficult to treat with standard Western medicine.  Acupuncture is gentle and safe,           benefitting the mother as well as her growing fetus.    The following  conditions are just some of the manifestations of pregnancy which are amenable to treatment  with acupuncture.

Nausea/Morning Sickness 

This is related to the energy, or Qi, in pregnancy which holds the fetus up,  inside the body, also causing the energy of the Stomach to rise.  Acupuncture to correct the flow of Stomach Qi, without compromising the energy of the womb, can alleviate this symptom.  Prevention of  the more severe complication of         Hyperemesis Gravidarum is also an   important benefit.

Aches and Pains

As the mother’s body adjusts to accommodate the growing fetus, the changes can cause   discomfort in the low back, sacrum, pubic bone, hips, and legs.  Acupuncture helps to provide smooth flow of Qi through the meridians of the body, promoting comfort and alleviating pain.

Anemia

As the blood volume increases in pregnancy, there is dilution of hemoglobin in the Blood with resulting anemia of pregnancy.   Acupuncture points nourish the Blood.  Blood building  food suggestions based on Chinese dietary  principles are also provided.

Hypertension 

Acupuncture is a very helpful  tool in  helping pregnant women to relax, which will in turn reduce the blood pressure. It also works at a fundamental, root level to treat the internal causes of  hypertension.  Prevention of pre-eclampsia is one of the most important reasons to address elevated blood pressure with acupuncture.

Malposition of the Fetus

Encouraging the fetus to turn head down  is accomplished through the use of moxibustion.  Compressed herbal cones or sticks are burned on or above a specific acupuncture point known for its  effect of  turning  the fetus.  The best success  is prior to the 36th week of gestation, but I have had success past the 36th week if there is sufficient  room and amniotic fluid.

Induction of Labor

Acupuncture can encourage the onset of labor within  6-60 hours when the labor is delayed beyond the due date, if there is rupture of the membranes without onset of labor, or  when other factors exist which indicate the need to initiate labor.

Post-natal Care

The challenges of insufficient milk production, mastitis, post-partum depression, and persistent hypertension can be readily treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas.

Happy Babies

Needling a certain acupuncture point with a gold plated  needle during pregnancy  is said to     balance the fetus and encourage a   happy disposition in the baby after birth. My patients all attest to the effectiveness of this point in their birth announcements

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