Can Acupuncture Help During Pregnancy? Yes, It Can!
Acupuncture Help During Pregnancy
Can Acupuncture Help During Pregnancy? For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine has been utilized to improve the health of both the mother and the infant during and after pregnancy. Preventative care is prioritized in order to strengthen the kid and mother as a unit, as well as to assist with any issues that may emerge during pregnancy.
Since 2003, the World Health Organization has released numerous reviews on a variety of ailments that have shown acupuncture to be a beneficial treatment for a variety of diseases, including pregnancy complications. It can be utilized to help with maternal and fetal health in a variety of ways. The most common disorders found during pregnancy and in patients who are carried to term are listed below.
During Pregnancy, Nausea
Acupuncture has been shown in numerous trials to reduce the severity and frequency of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Trained acupuncturists and midwives who specialize in fertility can provide speedier relief than individuals who do not receive therapy. Nutrition during pregnancy is also of the utmost importance.
Skeletal – Muscular Pain
Pain will be one of the most common things acupuncturists see during their patients’ pregnancies. Ribs, pubic symphysis, hips, sciatica, and back pain are all typical as the body adapts and expands to accommodate the baby’s size. Acupuncture can assist reduce congestion, desensitizing the body to discomfort, and increasing circulation to areas of muscular strain caused by carrying extra weight as the patient’s body grows and stretches (2).
Babies who are born in the breech position and those who are born in the posterior position
Acupuncture and moxibustion to correct breech presentation have been extensively researched as more women opt for a more natural birth. Though it has been shown to be most effective between weeks 34 and 35 of pregnancy, it can still be beneficial later on (3).
Induction and Labor Preparation
Acupuncture can be utilized four weeks before the due date to assist prepare and releasing the hips, back, pelvis, and cervix. One session every week after that is most beneficial in assisting women in preparing for the amount of change their bodies would undergo as their baby descends deeper into the uterus.
Acupuncture can also give a gentle induction for women who are past their due date, and it can be a good alternative to hormonal stimulation. There are acupoints on the body that have been demonstrated to assist speed up labor by increasing uterine contractions. As a result, the use of acupuncture reduces the need for medical intervention, induction, and cesarean sections (4,5).
After the exhausting experience of childbirth, acupuncture and Chinese medicines are utilized to assist the woman to regain her health. The body is at its most vulnerable, so the focus of treatment will be on strengthening and blood-building herbs. Mastitis, milk production, postpartum depression, incontinence, back pain, and exhaustion are all frequent issues that acupuncturists can help with.
Acupuncture and Fertility
Fertility and Acupuncture
Acupuncture treatments have been found in recent research to improve reproductive success rates.
What role does acupuncture have in infertility?
Acupuncture may be seen as an alternate approach of dealing with reproductive disorders on its own. It is also commonly used as a complement to modern fertility treatments. Acupuncture is the technique of putting hair-thin needles into the skin and muscle tissue to stimulate natural inflammation and blood flow.
Acupuncture may therefore assist improve blood flow to the reproductive organs, which is a common method in China and has been shown to improve lining and egg quality or production by boosting blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. It will also increase blood flow to the testes, resulting in more sperm of higher quality. This is crucial since circulation to the reproductive organs is highly indirect. When stressed, the body’s natural response is to shift circulation away from the reproductive organs and toward the muscle groups, lungs, and heart. Fertility is not only a physical issue; it also has an influence on the patient’s emotional and hormonal wellness.
Various clinical studies have found that the stress levels caused by sadness and the worry of reproductive problems are identical to those experienced by cancer patients undergoing treatment. During times of stress, hormone levels such as cortisol rise, producing abnormalities in the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis – the same reason stress can affect the duration and irregularity of periods. Acupuncture needles implanted at specific points might induce the body to release endorphins, or “feel-good” hormones, which help regulate periods and other reproductive hormones such as progesterone and oestrogen by reducing cortisol and balancing the HPO axis.
What function does acupuncture play in IVF and IUI?
As with IVF and IUI cycles, there are stimulating and supportive components. The herbs and acupoints chosen will aid in menstrual cycles as well as IVF/IUI. During menstruation, treatments will focus on eliminating the old lining so that a new foundation may be created along the uterine wall. The stimulating stage of IVF/IUI/follicular phase will focus on egg quality and will help the ovaries with yield and quality. During the triggering/ovulation stage, the fallopian tubes will be maintained open so that the egg may move down and the sperm can go up for an IUI. Finally, the luteal phase / IVF transfer or IUI implantation is concerned with preserving the lining and pregnancy.
In a 2002 German study of 160 women, 21 (26.3 percent) of the 80 women who had IVF without any acupuncture treatments became pregnant. In comparison, 34 of the 80 women who had both acupuncture and IVF became pregnant, for a success rate of 42.5 percent. In a recent study of 114 women in the United States, 36 percent of those who underwent IVF alone became pregnant, whereas 51 percent of those who received acupuncture and IVF treatments were pregnant. Furthermore, although only 8% of women in the acupuncture group miscarried, 20% of women in the IVF-only group miscarried.
We provide pre and post IVF/IUI treatments on request, and we often work with couples three months before their procedure.
Is it effective in preventing miscarriage?
Preventing preconception and miscarriage requires improving the health of both parents at least three months before conception. This is the amount of time it takes for an egg or sperm to mature from germ cells. It is vital to improving the health and quality of the parents’ gametes in order to limit the chance of abnormalities and give time for the best prospective uterine lining to grow. Acupuncture and herbal treatment can help you balance your body and increase the quality of your egg or sperm, but you must also examine your lifestyle choices. Diet, exercise, and mental health are all critical components of a good pregnancy.
What about the masculine component?
Male factor is thought to be responsible for up to 40% of infertility cases. Though the male reproductive system does not go through the same cyclical changes as women’s, the therapeutic concepts remain the same. Improve circulation to the reproductive organs, reduce stress, eat a healthy diet, and keep hormone levels in check.
About The Author
(1) Birth. 2002 Mar;29(1):1-9.
Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial.
Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J.
Source: Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Adelaide University, Adelaide, Australia.
(2) Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2006;85(1):12-9.
Decrease of pregnant women’s pelvic pain after acupuncture: a randomized controlled single-blind study. Lund I, Lundeberg T, Lönnberg L, Svensson E.
Source: Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. [email protected]
(3)J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2004 Apr;15(4):247-52.
Acupuncture plus moxibustion to resolve breech presentation: a randomized controlled study.
Neri I, Airola G, Contu G, Allais G, Facchinetti F, Benedetto C.
Source: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Modena-Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.
(4) Influence of Acupuncture on Duration of LaborZeisler H. · Tempfer C. · Mayerhofer K. · Barrada M. · Husslein P.
Gynecol Obstet Invest 1998;46:22–25
(5) Medical Acupuncture: A Journal for Physicians by Physicians. 2006; 17(3):
Acupuncture for Prebirth Treatment: An Observational Study Of Its Use In Midwifery Practice.
Debra Betts, RN – Sue Lennox, MA
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