Acupuncture during pregnancy can optimise the health of mother and baby. It can also ease pregnancy related symptoms.
In early pregnancy it can help circulation and reduce high blood pressure. It can relieve stress and anxiety, help constipation, fatigue and insomnia.
At our Affordable Acupuncture Guildford clinic we also treat more specific pregnancy related problems such as:
Morning and morbid sickness
Pelvic Girdle Pain
Morning sickness occurs due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. Stress, tiredness, emotional factors and inadequate diet can make it worse.
About 50% of women experience nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. Despite the name it can occur any time and it doesn’t always stop at 12-14 weeks. Some continue to have these symptoms until much later or even the end of pregnancy. We call that morbid sickness. Medicines prescribed by doctors can be helpful but not completely get rid of sickness. Also, lots of women prefer not to take medicines during pregnancy
Apart from feeling unwell this kind of sickness can lead to dehydration which requires hospital treatment to receive fluids. Lots of midwifes are aware that acupuncture can help so at Affordable Acupuncture Guildford we often treat it with a great success.
Acupuncture treatment is a safe and effective way to help women with morning or morbid sickness. At our clinic we also discuss suitable diet, individually tailored to each woman.
In very acute cases we give 2 treatments per week until the symptoms become mild. Usually weekly treatments are enough to help resolve the sickness.
Pelvic Girdle Pain
The research shows that acupuncture is better than stabilising exercises with all types of PGP. We treat it at Affordable Acupuncture Guildford with very good results.
This painful condition (also known as PGP or SPD) is due to joints stiffness or instability leading to inflammation.
Symphysis pubis dysfunction is the most common problem but other joints such as sacroiliac or lower back can be affected too.
Severity varies from dull ache to severe pain deep in the groin or/and lower back. Sometimes it’s combined with grinding or clicking sensation in the pubic area. Different movements (standing on one leg, widening legs) make it worse.
Most painkillers and anti- inflammatories can not be used during pregnancy as they can have a harmful effect on the baby. Physiotherapy and exercises have a limited success as it is difficult to strengthen muscles in late pregnancy. Crutches or pelvic support can alleviate some symptoms too.
Research published by British Medical Journal in 2005 show how well acupuncture works . They involved 386 pregnant women.
Midwifes and doctors are often aware of beneficial effects of acupuncture on PGP and refer patients to us.
It is best to try acupuncture to turn breech babies between 32-35 weeks of pregnancy. We find it can still work right up to term. Many women are not made aware of it til the 37th week of pregnancy.
Lots of breech presentations lead to delivery by Cesarean Section so it’s definitely worth trying a safe , cheep, simple, painless and non-invasive treatment with a success rate of over 80%.
As part of our treatment we use moxa stick (big cigar look alike) to heat up a point on the little toe twice a day until a movement is noticed. It is quite a miracle to see this happening, sometimes after just one treatment!
Case History I had a client whose first baby was breech, she was already 38 weeks pregnant (little bit too late in theory) and within 10 minutes of starting a treatment we saw the baby turning . Her second baby also decided to sit comfortably until the last scan at 36 weeks so we repeated the same and got the same result but this time after the treatment, during the night. Both her babies were delivered without major interventions.
Research shows increased fetal activity during the treatment period. The success rate after the 33th week of gestation was 84.6% (Ewies & Olah 2002).
Studies show that women who receive pre-birth acupuncture have an overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions (43% for first pregnancies) . Epidural and emergency Cesarean delivery was reduced by around 31%.
We usually see pregnant women when they are already overdue. Acupuncture can still help soften the cervix and release of hormones which can start labour. Sometimes it’s important to have 2-3 treatments close together so the stimulation continues.
In my experience having acupuncture during late pregnancy and just before and even during the labour can help normalise the process a great deal. I have seen uterine bleeding stop, contractions restart, pain managed and afterbirth expelled thanks to acupuncture. It always feels like a privilege to help women during this incredible process.