Cybil Kendrick, L.Ac.
Pregnancy can be an amazing experience, a struggle or a crazy mix of both and trying to manage some of the symptoms that occur can be difficult when many of the normal options are not safe for the growing baby. This is another example of where acupuncture shines because it is a very safe and effective, drug free treatment that can provide relief from many conditions that can occur during pregnancy.
In the first trimester so much is happening in the mother’s body to create another human that often routine or severe nausea/vomiting as well as fatigue are the most common complaints. Some women also deal with heartburn, musculoskeletal issues, etc. These are all things that acupuncture can treat effectively and safely. Acupuncture can also be used to support implantation of the embryo and help maintain the pregnancy in the event of a threatened miscarriage. This is done by diagnosing the underlying imbalances in the mother and treating points that will correct the imbalance.
In the second trimester the pregnancy often feels more settled and fewer complaints arise, but throughout the entire pregnancy there are different energies that are ebbing and flowing in the baby’s growth process and it can be very helpful to maintain a monthly treatment plan to support both baby and mother. An example is maintaining healthy blood flow in the mother and to the placenta to help prevent things like pre-eclampsia.
The third trimester is when the position of the baby becomes important because as the baby gets bigger there is less room for them to flip around. So around 34 wks if the baby is in a breech position we can treat certain points and advise the mother how to continue treatment at home. As the baby reaches 36-37 weeks pre labor treatments can begin weekly to prepare the mother and baby for delivery so that when it is time for delivery labor is often cited as more efficient. If induction is called for then we can begin induction treatments which are more effective if the mother has been receiving acupuncture prior to an induction treatment.
And most forgotten, but arguably most important, is postpartum care for mom. Growing a baby and giving birth is no small feat and there is no down time once the baby is home. Please consider self care to help with milk production, mastitis, fatigue, pelvic floor recovery, C-section recovery, etc. Acupuncture is a great treatment modality for all of the above as well as chiropractic care, massage, physical therapy, and much more.
Cybil Kendrick, L.Ac.,MSOM, C.SMA, RMT is a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) with her masters in Oriental medicine (MSOM) and is certified in Sports Medicine Acupuncture® (C.SMA) and massage therapy (RMT).