Even though pregnancy is a normal physiological condition, women can find their daily lives hampered by a range of symptoms including nausea & vomiting, back and pelvic pain, heartburn and anxiety. If the baby is in breech position or lying posterior (back to back to the mother) this can also affect the outcome of labour.
These are some of the conditions for which women regularly come to acupuncture. I was recently involved in a study looking at when women come for treatment during their pregnancy and for what conditions. Those women coming for fertility treatment who are successful in getting pregnant, come early on for support in their first trimester.
Many women continue with monthly maintenance treatment during their pregnancy to address any specific complaints as they arise.
“The treatments I received for nausea, faintness and low blood pressure throughout my pregnancy were stabilising and invaluable, and as my pregnancy progressed and I developed pelvic girdle pain acupuncture helped in the management of that pain. Additionally acupuncture and daily moxibustion turned my large breech baby at 37 weeks against all odds given me by my obstetrician.”
If baby is breech, coming for acupuncture at the optimum time of between 32- 36 weeks is highly recommended. Several systematic reviews have found that moxibustion (warming herb used over a specific acupuncture point) has a positive effect in correcting breech presentation.
Women also come for treatment as they approach their due date. Pre-birth preparation treatment from around 37 weeks helps to encourage optimum condition for labour, physically, mentally and emotionally. Teaching couples to use acupressure during labour is a very useful tool and allows the partner to be actively involved.
“I started the pre-birth preparational accupuncture with Marian at 36 weeks. Seeing Marian was always a very relaxing experience where I could address concerns and problems which arose at that late stage of my pregnancy and which she treated really well.
Particular helpful were the accupressure points my partner used during labour. Marian gave me a booklet with all the useful points and explained me how to use them during labour. It made a huge impact on coping with pain and allowed me to give birth without any painkillers or medical interventions. The birth of my daughter was a truly magical experience and especially feeling very close to my partner in actively helping me cope with pain made it an even more special experience in my life.”
Many women come for induction treatment if their baby is overdue. Having treatment in the last few weeks of pregnancy can help to avoid this happening, so that women can go into labour spontaneously.
Marian’s acupuncture treatment proved to be invaluable for me during my pregnancy. All of my pregnancy related conditions, like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, oedema and a posterior baby have found relief and got significantly better after some treatments. I feel that my body is well prepared for labour now.
Marian also introduced me and my partner to acupressure for labour, resulting in my partner becoming very confident and involved with a very positive approach towards the birth of our baby.”
In my experience, women who come for acupuncture feel like they are able to manage all the changes in their body with more confidence and feel more prepared for the changes ahead.
For more information on the research into acupuncture during pregnancy please go to the British Acupuncture Council website: www.acupuncture.org.uk
LLB(Hons), DipAc, ClinAc(China), MBAcC