Acupuncture in Pregnancy
For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine has developed specialised acupuncture for women in pregnancy care and postpartum recovery. Today this care is becoming increasingly popular and used by acupuncturists and specially trained midwives in countries such as Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Norway, Sweden, and New Zealand, where acupuncture is available in specialised antenatal clinics and maternity hospitals.
Pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal recovery are viewed in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a window of opportunity to enhance the woman’s well-being. Value is therefore placed on promoting preventive care to strengthen the mother and baby as well as dealing with problems as they occur during pregnancy.
Acupuncture offers women a safe, natural and effective, option offering relief from a variety of issues that can arise during pregnancy. Each session aims to promote foetal and maternal health so that women can enjoy the best possible pregnancy and blossom during such a special time in their lives.
I specialise in helping with the following issues:
Nausea during pregnancy
Acupuncture is often very effective in reducing both the severity and incidence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Research from Australia (1) highlighted that women receiving traditional acupuncture (where points where chosen according to an individual diagnosis) experienced faster relief when compared to those groups receiving routine prescribed points or “sham” acupuncture. This research also looked at the successful pregnancy outcomes for the women involved, concluding that “acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy” (2).
Breech and Posterior babies
In 2008 a MIDIRS publication produced for midwives and women in collaboration with The Centre for Reviews and Dissemination stated that for women with a baby in breech presentation, the “most promising alternative approach is moxibustion” (MIDIRS 2008).
Moxibustion involves the burning of the herb Artemisia vulgaris (moxa) close to the skin to induce a warming sensation at an acupuncture point on the little toe (BL 67). Moxibustion is most effective when performed between weeks 32 and 35 of pregnancy, but can still be useful when used later in the pregnancy. This is a very safe, effective and pleasant procedure, particularly when performed by a qualified and experienced acupuncturist such as myself.
Statistical evidence has also demonstrated that moxibustion at week 34 of pregnancy, followed by external cephalic version (ECV) at week 37 could reduce the number of breech babies at term by 78% and almost halve the number of c-sections needed (van den Berg 2010).
Please, feel free to contact me if you wish to find out more about Chinese Medicine and how it can help turn a breech baby.
Preparing for Labour
From week 36 I offer plans of four weekly appointments to prepare your body for labour. Acupuncture works by ripening the cervix, by helping position your baby for labour and by promoting your energy and stamina.
Studies have shown that pre-birth acupuncture reduces inductions by 35%, reduces caesareans by 32%, and reduces epidurals by 31% (Betts and Lennox, 2006).
Acupuncture to bring on / start Labour
Acupuncture can provide a gentle inducement to labour if your baby is overdue and can be an effective alternative to a medical induction. Research from Norway (3) on the use of acupuncture for women with premature rupture of membranes (PROM) concluded that “ideally acupuncture treatment should be offered to all women with PROM and other women who wish to use this method to facilitate their birth and keep it normal”.
Contrary to what some people may try to tell you, it is absolutely not “normal” to have painful periods and PMS. And you can manage hot flushes and night sweats.
Acupuncture can also naturally and safely relieve many symptoms linked to pregnancy such as morning sickness, low back pain and heartburn. Acupuncture can also turn a breech baby, as well as prepare your body for childbirth.
I offer individualised acupuncture plans to help woment:
- Regulate their menstrual cycle.
- Reduce the severity of “monthly symptoms”.
- Curb morning sickness, low back pain and heartburn during pregnancy.
- Turn a breech baby.
- Prepare your body for childbirth.
- Induce labour.
I can help your body recover and I also provide acupuncture plans to help the following conditions: mastitis, insufficient lactation, urinary incontinence, and low energy levels.
- Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J. (2002). “Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomised trial”. Birth. 29 (1): 1-9.
- Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J. (2002). “Pregnancy outcome following women’s participation in a randomised controlled trial of acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy” Complement Ther Med. 10(2): 78-83.
- Gaudernack L, Forbord S, Hole E. (2007) Acupuncture administered after spontaneous rupture of membranes at term significantly reduces the length of birth and use of oxytocin. A randomised controlled trial. Midirs Midwifery Digest. Vol 17, No 2.
If you want to gain control of your hormones, prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy, relieve nausea / sickness in pregnancy or bring on / start labour- contact Tiziana Bertinotti on 07788 633292 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about the benefits of acupuncture to support conception and fertility please visit our Acupuncture for Fertility page.