Acupuncture in pregnancy
The journey from conception to the birth of your new little person is one that although incredibly fulfilling, is often not without its aches and pains and anxiety about all the changes. Whether you are just in the first stages of trying to conceive of watching the weeks pass as you wait for your due date, acupuncture can offer a great support through this special time.
Women’s health and fertility is incredibly complex and can sometimes be frustrating, even heartbreaking if there is no logical reason for any fertility issues. Many women use acupuncture as an alternate or complementary treatment while they are trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy. Lisa Houghton from Elemental Acupuncture describes it as “an ancient healing practice with its own way of diagnosing and treating the body, almost like a language.” And treatment doesn’t just begin and end in the room. “There has been a real revolution in recent years where women who are trying to get pregnant and/or are starting their families, are becoming really aware of what they put in and on their bodies and what they are using in the home environment,” says Lisa. “This is the foundation of natural therapy, looking at all the elements in their lives.”
During pregnancy, acupuncture is used from the first few weeks right through to the post-partum phase. Lisa also works with women who have struggled with miscarriage in the past, offering them a weekly treatment throughout the first trimester. “We want to get their body out of its old pattern and into a new healthy pattern,” she says. “It is all about preparation.”
Morning sickness is another common ailment that Lisa sees in her practice. “Some women will only need one treatment, while others may be living off crackers, and need to come in three times a week to be able to participate in their lives.”
Other treatable side effects can include low energy, gestational diabetes, pelvic pain, rib pain, high blood pressure, insomnia, haemorrhoids and headaches.
Throughout the second and third trimesters, women sometimes use acupuncture if they are wanting to alter baby’s positioning. Lisa says for transverse and breech babies it is better to come in sooner rather than later, although sometimes this is unavoidable as babies will often turn at the last minute. “Birth preparation treatment makes sure the baby is in an optimal position, and that the mother is prepared, especially if they have had past traumatic birth experiences,” she explains.
Sometimes, women will opt for acupuncture if they have gone past their 40 weeks and are looking for a natural induction treatment. “This is one of my favourite treatments,” Lisa says, “as women are quite sensitive at that stage, the body is really open and the treatment is trying to stimulate the body strongly.”
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