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 may have 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?

• May decrease morning sickness
According to research, there are 75% of pregnant women 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 may reduce and eliminate the morning sickness in the 1st trimester. The use of Chinese herbal medicine is also recommended to give more nutrition to the baby and pregnant women.

• May strengthen the uterus line
Acupuncture may improve the blood flow in the Pelvic cavity, may promote uterine blood flow and may strengthen the uterus line. 

• May nourish the embryo/fetus
Acupuncture combines with Chinese herbal medicine may help in giving extra care for the embryo/fetus and pregnant women. 

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

• May increase overall health and well-being
Once the hormones in the body is balanced and endorphin released, stress may be reduced and therefore may increase your overall health as well as well-being.

2nd Trimester
Acupuncture may ease back pain during the second and third trimester where usually expectant mother gains weight due to the baby’s growth every single week. This may 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 may reduce the stress level and may ease back pain, it may 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 may promote qi and reduce prolong labour; which cause by deficiency in qi. In conclusion Acupuncture may ease back pain, moderate contractions closer to due dates and also avoid breech presentation.

3rd Trimester and overdue dates

Acupuncture may also benefit women in their third trimester. Firstly, we encourage women to do acupuncture to improve natural labour instead of going through an induction process (ie. by rupturing 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 may also beneficial for expectant mothers who want their baby in a head-down position. According to a survey, there are 3-4% women who have a 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 a 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 case and condition.

Thirdly, acupuncture may also promote delivery of a retained placenta.  It may stimulate relevant hormones such as; prostaglandin and oxytocin for natural induction labour. 

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

Another benefit also includes treatment for mothers who have 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 the baby and mother as well as reducing weak bladder.

Conclusion
From the very first time, an expectant mother conceives until the birth of the baby; It is recommended that women whose in first trimester to have regular acupuncture treatments as they are very fragile state and acupuncture combines with Chinese herbal medicine may strengthen the uterus lining and may avoid miscarriage.