Very few women are lucky enough to go through nine months of pregnancy without various aches and overall discomfort. It is estimated that over 60 percent of pregnant women report having painful symptoms, such as backaches and aching near the pelvic bone because of the pressure of the baby’s head, increased weight, and loosening joints. Yet, pregnant women do not often consider acupuncture as the go-to remedy due to unfounded concerns about its safety. In reality, when a licensed doctor performs acupuncture to treat expecting mothers, it is always safe. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) approves acupuncture during pregnancy to manage the full spectrum of labor pains.

How Does Acupuncture Heal Symptoms

In a nutshell, acupuncture is a healing art that treats imbalances and dissipates energy blockages at the root of these uncomfortable symptoms. A licensed acupuncture or doctor inserts tiny needles through the skin along specific meridians on the body during the treatment. Although it may sound painful, it is surprisingly relaxing and refreshing as it releases the discomfort at its root.

When used during the first three months of pregnancy, acupuncture treatments promote gentle circulation and stimulate optimal nutrition for the growing fetus. It can also help enhance the mother’s immune system. Besides providing relief, acupuncture can significantly improve the baby’s health.

Acupuncture Helps Birth

Several studies have provided positive results on the effects of acupuncture during pregnancy and birth! Treatments can affect musculoskeletal preparation of the pelvis, cervical ripening, enhancement of endogenous oxytocin release, and analgesic properties. If all of that sounds too clinical, think of it this way – acupuncture treatments can prepare your body to release the newborn more naturally.

As the baby develops, it takes up more room in the uterus, so, at about 32 weeks, western doctors become worried if the baby has not naturally turned to a head-down position, referred to as breech. Breech situations can be limiting in terms of birthing options. During an acupuncture treatment, an experienced practitioner may use a technique called moxibustion near your baby to stimulate its movement and circulation. As it is also called, Moxi is a method of burning dried mugwort near particular points to warm specific regions of the body, and in this case, it may be used near your baby’s toe.

According to a small study at the University of North Carolina, women who had acupuncture were more likely to go into labor without medical induction. They were also less likely to require a C-section. With so many benefits and advantages to acupuncture, more women learn that the options are no longer limited to western medicine.

Why Try Acupuncture During Pregnancy

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you are a candidate for acupuncture treatments.

  • Back pain and sciatica
  • Breech birth
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Edema (also called “swelling”)
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Mood swings/Irritability
  • Nausea and vomiting (also known as “morning sickness”)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Sleep problems

At 2Dots Integrative Medicine, your health is our mission. Dr. Zhu’s approach to treating pregnant women focuses on correcting imbalances and prioritizing overall health. Her personal views include finding answers that don’t require taking prescription pills and supplements – strengthening one’s health through a holistic approach. Click here for more information on our personalized treatments.

with Dr. Lin Dan Zhu