Acupuncture in Pregnancy – How can this Ancient Chinese system help?

AcupuctureFor acupuncture in pregnancy, our specialist Alison Courtney has many years of experience, having previously worked in the NHS as a nurse and midwife.  If you would like to book an appointment, please contact our friendly reception team.

How can acupuncture support a woman in pregnancy?

When a woman becomes pregnant she encounters a “Yin” environment within her body.  This is a Traditional Chinese Medicinal TCM perspective where the body has increased nurturing feminine energy.  This Yin movement within the uterus especially, needs to be strong as the process of gathering, concentrating and storing commences for the attachment and development of the embryo. Once conception has occurred, “Yin” energy ensures sufficient nourishment to the embryo and foetus as well to the women’s body.

In acupuncture, we see many women who are “Yin Deficient”.  This in turn creates disharmonies within the bodily systems which may exacerbate symptoms encountered during pregnancy such as nausea, tiredness, anaemia, threatened miscarriage and preeclampsia, to name a few.  A balanced level of Yin energy is vital for all aspects of obstetric health.  This will have a positive enhancement on the nurturing aspects of a growing baby, benefiting your child’s future health after birth.

Acupuncturists are trained at degree level to be able to pick up the subtle imbalances of the energy within your body.   They diagnose through pulse and tongue diagnosis, symptoms and signs of disharmonies.  We check your levels of Yin and Yang within your body, and provide targeted treatment and lifestyle advice to counteract any imbalances.

Chinese Medicine Tips During Pregnancy and Conception

Here are some general tips that all pregnant women and women who are trying to conceive can do to enhance their health:

  1. Create a balance between work and rest, because stress can have a pronounced impact on the body and can affect your ability to conceive.
  2. Try to reduce work load and stress – think about soothing therapies or classes you could attend to manage your stress levels.  Or perhaps you could go for a gentle walk, spend time reading a book or listening to music.
  3. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep – if you struggle to sleep, acupuncture can also help to support better sleep patterns.
  4. Consume Kidney Yin strengthening foods such as pulses and seeds (the Kidney’s in Chinese Medicine are responsible for reproduction and pregnancy). If you are suffering from nausea try potato soup it really does help!!
  5. Replenish your Yin with acupuncture treatment and learn how to restore it yourself.

Some Truths About Acupuncture in Pregnancy (and some myths dispelled!)

According to the British Acupuncture Council (the main regulatory body for acupuncturists) 25% of the British public thought that acupuncture needles were the same size as injection needles used by the N.H.S.  I can reassure you that this isn’t the case, they are hair like in thickness and the depth of insertion for pregnancy is generally 2-3 mm with generally about 6 needles used per treatment.

Due to an amazing invention called the guide tube a painless needle insertion is obtained during a session. Sensations which are commonly described by my patients are a tingling or dull ache and when the needles are all in I see so many people relax, unwind and drift off into a moment of calm.

Specialist Acupuncture in Pregnancy

For pregnancy related conditions it is important to seek an acupuncturist who specialises within this field.  It is complex to treat pregnant women; and the ability to refer to the G.P./ midwife is sometimes required.  Women are in safe hands with an acupuncturist who has been specially trained in obstetric health; their training enables them to pick up on warning features of complications for mum and baby.

In pregnancy there is a huge limitation on what medications are safe to take, however acupuncture treatment offers a safe alternative.  There are so many symptoms which acupuncture can benefit. These might include nausea, preventing miscarriage, back pain, pubic symphysis, migraines, sinusitis, turning breech babies, sciatica, anxiety and depression (pre/post delivery) and natural inductions.  Patients find the treatment has a calming, relaxing effect and often they report feeling energised too.

It’s a great idea to come for pre-birth acupuncture from week 37, as this helps to ripen the cervix, relax the abdominal ligaments, and provides pre-labour calming.  If you would like to book an appointment with Alison Courtney for acupuncture in pregnancy or for any other condition then please contact us today.