Acupuncture during pregnancy has eased discomfort and maintained the prenatal health of mothers to be for thousands of years, and for good reason. Acupuncture treatments when performed properly by a skilled practitioner, has many benefits with no side effects. Below is a breakdown of how acupuncture can ease common discomforts encountered during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Acupuncture Benefits
- Stress reduction. Pregnancy is a stressful time. Hormones are changing creating irritability, nothing fits, the list goes on. All of this stress builds up in the body, and nerves begin to fray. Acupuncture releases this stress and redirects Qi to reset the mind and relax the body.
- Pain reduction. Throughout the pregnancy, the lower back and hips take on the most pressure. The weight of the baby combined with altered blood flow and hormone shifts can cause a significant amount of pain, specifically in those areas. Sometimes swelling of the appendages occur creating carpal tunnel syndrome-like symptoms. Acupuncture redirects stuck Qi to reduce pain and swelling.
- Increased energy. During pregnancy, so much energy redirects to the act of creating a person that it can leave the mother feeling sluggish and fatigued. Additionally, altered sleep patterns due to her changing body can make it difficult to get through the day. Acupuncture stimulates the body and mind and resets healthy sleep patterns.
- Managing depression. Prenatal and postpartum depression are widespread problems, and many antidepressants are not safe for pregnant women. It is well known that acupuncture treatments create a sense of well-being. Studies also show that acupuncture is nearly as effective as Prozac at alleviating depression.
- A quicker, shorter labor. Acupuncture and acupressure has worked for thousands of years to induce labor, shorten labor, and alleviate labor pain.
How Acupuncture Works
There are 12 main meridians along the body. Meridians are acupuncture channels. The meridians connect the acupuncture points. These points run beside dozens of energy pathways. The acupuncturist stimulates these points by inserting a needle into the proper location. The needles are nearly hair-thin, and most say there is no pain. Acupressure uses the same points but relies on pressure using the fingers instead of needles. Continuing acupuncture after pregnancy is also helpful, as it helps with preventing depression and the “baby blues.”
Dr. Laurie Binder is a Certified Ob/Gyn Nurse Practitioner and a Licensed Acupuncturist. With more than twenty years experience in the field, she started her medical career in the labor and delivery area. She is an expert in fertility, childbirth, pregnancy and women’s health from both Western medical and traditional Chinese medicine viewpoints. For more information check out her CV and contact to schedule an appointment.