Pregnancy is an incredible journey that comes with a few bumps (pun intended) at every stage. Though some women experience a smooth sailing, a great number suffer from a range of ailments from as simple as nausea to complications like pre-eclampsia or depression. In addition to the prodding and raging hormones, the aches and pains associated with this period can really make life uncomfortable for an expectant woman. According to Carolyn, et al (2008), the prevalence of low back and pelvic pain is 24-90% in pregnant women.
In such cases, acupuncture provides the best alternative to most medication, which can be unsafe during pregnancy. Cho (2010) contends that acupuncture is relatively safe and has no known records of serious negative effects in pregnancy-related systematic reviews. Originally from China, acupuncture has been around for 2500 years and has been used to effectively treat a number of ailments and improve functioning of the body. Carolyn et al (2008) observes that in the US alone, acupuncture is used by over 2 million people annually.
How does Acupuncture during pregnancy work?
The true benefits of acupuncture can only be realized if performed by a qualified, skilled acupuncturist. The process involves the gentle insertion of sterile, hair-thin needles into the skin at specific anatomical points in the body. Acupuncture triggers the release of neurochemical messengers including endorphins, which block or systemically reduce pain signals. The common back and pelvic pains experienced in late pregnancy can be safely remedied using this technique. In fact, Hui (2010) observes that the stimulation of certain acupuncture points affects areas of the brain that reduce sensitivity to stress and pain and subsequently promotes relaxation. Acupuncture works in other ways to stabilize hormones and to create optimal uterine environments. In fact, many women use acupuncture to get pregnant naturally and to maintain their pregnancy through the three trimesters. Read on…
Pregnancy support: Prenatal and Postnatal benefits
- Acupuncture helps prevent miscarriage – Miscarriage can be the outcome of many possible issues during pregnancy. These include genetic, immunologic, circulatory and environmental issues that can affect the health of your pregnancy. Many of these aforementioned issues can arise from imbalances within a comprised internal system. Since acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is used to bring homeostasis and balance back to a patient’s body, it has the incredible ability to contribute to the prevention of miscarriage. During a woman’s first trimester acupuncture is used effectively to help prevent miscarriage while providing a balancing / stabilizing effect on the endocrine system and its ebb and flow of hormones.
- Reduces Pain – According to a study published in 2009 by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, acupuncture was found to significantly reduce lower back pain and posterior pelvic pain in pregnant women. Zhao (2008) posits that stimulating intramuscular nerves leads to the release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, which changes the processing of pain in the spinal cord and the brain. Similarly, targeted acupuncture can help relieve morning sickness, elevated blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome depression, cramping, swelling, and anxiety. (Zhou et al, 2008).
- Acupuncture is also a powerful method to induce labor. During labor, it can work in either inducing delivery in overdue pregnancy; it can help shorten labor or reduce labor pains during delivery. Van der Berg (2008) posits that by changing prostaglandin levels and increasing placental estrogens & cortico-adrenal secretion, the basal tone of the uterus is raised and this enhances fetal movement, which makes labor faster and less enduring. Treatment during the third trimester can facilitate the proper positioning of the baby for birth, thus normalizing labor. Acupuncture has been shown to shorter labor times, reduce birth complications, lessen rate of caesarean, and diminish the need for the use of pain medications, epidurals and oxytocin.
- Post Delivery – After delivery, new mothers expect all the suffering to end as soon as the baby arrives. In reality, it is usually the beginning of new challenges that need new adjustments. Between feeding, changing diapers and the continuous cries, mothers end up very exhausted and even depressed (postpartum depression). In some cases, if not well taken care of, this might lead to swollen feet due to poor circulation of blood in the body. Fatigue can also cause poor milk letdown and result in breastfeeding difficulties. Acupuncture helps toward quick recovery by promoting overall wellness of the body. It reduces inflammation by promoting the release of immunomodulatory and vascular factors (Kavoussi 2007). It generally helps the body to balance its homeostatic systems.
The Acupuncturists have been treating many issues pertaining to women’s health over a span of 15 + years with outstanding results. Our team proudly serve the communities of Margate, Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Tamarac, Parkland, Deerfield Beach, and West Boca and offer free consultations daily. We are also in network with many insurance plans. Give us a call today!