Acupuncture can be used to address many of the issues that arise during pregnancy. I treat women at every stage of pregnancy, as well as in the first few weeks after birth.
The most common symptoms and issues that I treat during pregnancy are:
Nausea (morning sickness)
Although nausea is a very common symptom of pregnancy (approximately half of all women experience some form of nausea during pregnancy), it is not something to be taken lightly as it carries the risk of dehydration and can be very debilitating. Many women want to avoid taking medication when pregnant and turn to Chinese medicine which can offer considerable relief and an improvement in symptoms that enables them to function much better during their pregnancy.
Back pain, symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) and sciatica are the most common conditions that I treat during pregnancy and acupuncture can be very effective. It may be combined with physiotherapy and osteopathy to achieve excellent results and considerable relief for patients.
When a baby is lying in breech position (feet first), a Chinese herb called moxa (Mugwort) can be burnt near the little toe to correct the baby’s position. Ideally treatment takes place in Week 34 of the pregnancy and at the treatment I show the pregnant lady how to use the moxa at home. The moxa treatment is repeated twice a day for 10 days. There are a number of contraindications for the use of moxibustion to turn a breech baby, which include:
- twin pregnancies
- high blood pressure
- bleeding in pregnancy
- problems with the amniotic fluid
- uterine abnormalities
- the mother is rhesus negative, and
- a previous c-section for breech.
Weekly acupuncture treatment from Week 36/37 may help to prepare the body for birth and has been shown to reduce rates of induction for labour and the use of epidural. After each treatment I show you acupressure points which you can use at home to help augment the effect of acupuncture treatment between sessions. These points can also be used during labour and were one of a number of complementary therapies used in a study that showed such interventions (including the acupressure points) reduced epidural use and the rate of Caesarian section.
Post-natal care is an area which can often be overlooked, especially as women nowadays do not spend much time recuperating in hospital after giving birth. Some of the issues I treat, include:
- Extreme fatigue and lack of energy; and
- Assisting the healing process after a natural birth or caesarean.