Role of Acupuncture in Pregnancy Care

pregnant woman

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Now that you are pregnant, what are the things that are necessary and important for the growth of the fetus inside your womb?

We believe that acupuncture has a significant role in maintaining not only the health of the pregnant mother, but also for the embryo and fetus. Acupuncture’s role range from the moment you are trying to conceive naturally until the moment of birth.

1st Trimester

What is Acupuncture role in the first trimester (Week 1 – Week 12) of the pregnancy?

• Decreasing morning sickness
According to research, there is 75% of women who experience morning sickness. If not properly manage, this could lead to maternal death because there are significant nutrients, fluids and electrolytes that released from vomiting.

Therefore, we encourage women to do acupuncture because it can reduce and eliminate the morning sickness in the 1st trimester. It is also recommended the use of Chinese herbal medicine to give more nutrition to the baby and pregnant women.

• Strengthening uterus line, hence avoiding miscarriage
Acupuncture can improve the blood flow in Pelvic cavity, promotes uterine blood flow and strengthens the uterus line. As a result, it will avoid miscarriage and women can survive the most fragile stage in pregnancy.

• Nourishing the embryo/fetus
Acupuncture combines with Chinese herbal medicine is proven to be highly effective for caring the embryo/fetus and pregnant women. From the foundation of 2000 years of clinical observations, Chinese herbalists and acupuncturists are confident that these medicine is safe and highly beneficial for mother and baby.

• Reduce stress
When you are under stress, the hormones in the brain is imbalance and by doing acupuncture treatment this can be eliminated by produce endorphin release(happy) rather than adrenaline release (fear).

• Increase overall health and well-being
Once the hormones in the body is balance and endorphin released, stress will be reduce and therefore increasing your overall health as well as well-being.

2nd Trimester
Acupuncture can ease back pain during the second and third trimester where usually expectant mother gain weight due to the baby’s growth every single week. This can be troublesome for women because not only the feet is getting bigger but also they have to carry significant weight every day.

By having regular acupuncture, not only it will reduce the stress level and ease back pain, it will prepare for cervical ripening and promote moderate contractions. In Chinese philosophy, we believe that women should promote ‘qi’ (read: chi). Qi defines as the circulating life energy that every person has. It is the same as yin and yang, the balance of negative and positive forms in the body, where Yin being the darkness and Yang being the light.

Acupuncture promotes qi and reduce prolong labour; which cause by deficiency in qi. In conclusion Acupuncture can ease back pain, moderate contractions closer to due dates and also avoid breech presentation.

3rd Trimester and overdue dates

Acupuncture can also benefit women in their third trimester. Firstly, we encourage women to do acupuncture to improve natural labour instead of going through induction process (ie. by rapturing the amniotic sac). Hence, preparing the perineum and assisting in cervical ripening for natural labour. This is usually recommended for the expectant mothers who have overdue date pregnancy.

Secondly, acupuncture can also beneficial for expectant mothers who want their baby in head down position. According to survey, there are 3-4% women who have breech presentation. This means the baby’s head is not presenting as in the head has not turned downward. Therefore, it is necessary by week 34 that women should start doing acupuncture to avoid the breech presentation while there is still room to move before it turns into stable position in week 36. After week 36, obstetricians usually recommend to use caesarian section. However, acupuncture does not guarantee that it can turn babies in the breech position as this depends on each individual and the condition.

Thirdly, acupuncture can also promote delivery of a retained placenta.  It can stimulate relevant hormones such as; prostaglandin and oxytocin for natural induction labour. According to study, acupuncture has successfully assisted 88%of women studied in inducing their overdue labour.

There are many of our patients who had successfully given birth after couple of acupuncture treatments. Dr Christine also suggests the use of Chinese Medicine to nourish the well-being of the pregnant women and baby.

Post-Natal Health
Acupuncture can also be beneficial during post-natal, as this can improve new mother’s emotional wellbeing and avoid ‘baby blues’. During breastfeeding period, acupuncture can promotes breast milk for the baby and reduce level of Lochia.

Other benefit also includes treatment for mothers who has post-partum bleeding and will restore their overall health and wellbeing. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine focus on improving ‘qi’ by nourishing the body of baby and mother as well as reducing weak bladder.

Overall, Acupuncture has many benefits not only before pregnancy but throughout the pregnancy. From the first time an expectant mother conceive until the birth of the baby. It is recommended that women whose in first trimester to have regular acupuncture treatments as this is very fragile state and acupuncture combines with Chinese herbal medicine can strengthens the uterus lining and avoid miscarriage.