Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?
Yes! When performed by a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) or East Asian Medicine Practitioner (EAMP), acupuncture is an effective, natural, and safe solution to many conditions associated with pregnancy. L.Ac.s and EAMPs are trained to know what points are safe and what points should be avoided at certain times during pregnancy, so make sure you seek out someone with these credentials.
What pregnancy conditions can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can treat many of the uncomfortable symptoms and conditions associated with pregnancy including threatened miscarriage, nausea & vomiting (morning sickness & hyperemesis gravidarum), insomnia, fatigue, migraine, heartburn, back pain, pelvic pain, sciatica, swelling/edema, leg cramping, premature labor, breech presentation and it can also help with labor preparation.
How soon should I start getting acupuncture once I find out I’m pregnant, and how often should I go?
The answer to this will vary with each person, but you can start as soon as you’d like. Some expectant mothers will simply plan to come in a few times a month to ensure their pregnancy remains healthy. If you are experiencing an uncomfortable symptom of pregnancy, it is best to be seen as soon as possible, and the frequency of your treatments will depend on your symptoms and how quickly you respond to treatment. If you have a history of miscarriage, frequent treatments may be advised, especially in the first trimester, to ensure your body stays healthy and strong so it can sustain your pregnancy.
Can acupuncture induce labor?
Acupuncturists do not induce labor in the way that a Western doctor does. It will not force your body to do anything it is not already gearing up to do. What it will do is help to soften the cervix in preparation for delivery, and during labor it will help to regulate contractions. Acupuncture is most effective in preparing the body for a healthy labor if treatment is started around the 36th week.
Can I continue acupuncture after I give birth?
Absolutely, I recommend it! Regular acupuncture is a great option for post-natal recovery and healing. It can help with a variety of symptoms you might experience, including postpartum depression and anxiety, insufficient milk flow, blocked breast ducts/ mastitis, hemorrhoids, and urinary incontinence.
If you have a question that wasn’t addressed here, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-535-4055!
By Shauna J. Douglass-Parkin, EAMP at Lilac City Acupuncture in Spokane, WA
Disclaimer: The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider. Consultation with a primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.