Acupuncture and pregnancy

Yes! Acupuncture and pregnancy can co-exist. Many women even get acupuncture to become pregnant. However, many people wonder “is it safe during pregnancy?” It’s understandable that you may be concerned about sticking needles into your pregnant body. Depending on how far along you are, and the comfort level of you and your acupuncturist, certain points will not be used. However, when done safely and by a licensed acupuncturist, there’s nothing to fear but relief.

Also, along with needles, your acupuncturist can talk to you about moxa, tui na, cupping, herbs and food therapy. We have a lot of tricks up our sleeves! Work with your acupuncturist to find the perfect blend for you.

Common reasons women seek out acupuncture during pregnancy

“So, why would I get acupuncture while pregnant? What can it even do for me and my baby?” Great question! Below, you will find common reasons women seek acupuncture while pregnant and how it may help you both, during your journey.

Breech or posterior position

Believe it or not, one of the most popular remedies acupuncturists use for a breech/posterior baby is heat applied on your baby toe. This therapy is called Moxa. Moxa is a traditional Chinese medicine heat therapy used to stimulate points on the body. In this particular case, the point used is called Urinary Bladder 67 or UB 67.

How does it work? You can think about UB 67 as being a very “moving” point. It directs your body’s energy to move in the location of the fetus (which is why it’s part of a group of points not typically needled during pregnancy, as they can cause premature delivery.)

Once stimulated, it causes movement around your stomach and, in chinese theory, this movement will work towards balancing things out in your body. A breech/posterior fetus is thought of as an imbalance. Moxa helps to bring balance back to you and your baby and hopefully will return your baby to it’s wanted position.

Want to learn more? Check out this article by acutoronto.com.

Sciatica

As with many uncomfortable symptoms during pregnancy, sciatica can be caused by your growing fetus. The fetus puts pressure on certain areas that elicit symptoms. In this case, your baby may be putting pressure on your sciatic nerve, therefor, causing pain around the area and possibly radiating down your glutes and legs.

Stretching, physical therapy, massage and chiropractic care can help provide relief. So can acupuncture. Sometimes it’s as simple as needling the glute area. Your acupuncturist may also needle “distal” points, or areas away from the site of pain. Cupping is also common for sciatica.

For more information on cupping, check out this article by Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.

Back pain

Carrying around another human in your body can cause extra stress on your back whether that be a misalignment in your spine, muscle strain or simply energetic. Acupuncture is well known for relieving pain and, although the point location may be different, using acupuncture for back pain while pregnant can be very effective.

Cupping and moxa are also common therapies.

Indigestion

Indigestion is common during pregnancy, particularly during the third trimester, and can simply be caused by the pressure of your growing baby on your organs. Diet and lifestyle changes can go a long way with easing your discomfort.

Needles can also help. It’s common for acupuncturists to keep needles away from the belly (and lower back area) on a pregnant woman. However, there are plenty of other places to put needles for indigestion…like your legs. Crazy, right?

For more information in indigestion and pregnancy, check out this article by youaremom.com.

Emotional stress

Being pregnant can be stressful. You’re growing a human inside of you-that’s a big deal! Acupuncture is well-known to reduce stress whether it be emotional, physical or spiritual.

Because emotional stress is such a large category with lots of different symptoms (anxiety, depression, over-thinking, ruminating, irritability, anger, etc), talk with an acupuncturist about your specific symptoms and discuss how they can help address your personal stress. You can also check out our previous blogs on how acupuncture helps with depression and anxiety.

Thank you for stopping by this week. We appreciate your interaction and would love to hear from you! Please comment bellow to continue the discussion. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call us at 651-756-8525 or visit us at villageacupunctureandmassage.com.

Until next time!
Rachel Kristyniak, Licensed Acupuncturist at VAMT

Rachel was born and raised in St.Paul, MN, where she currently lives with her husband, Chris and Shih Zhu, Stewie. She graduated from Northwestern Health Sciences in 2017 with her Masters in Chinese Medicine. Rachel found Chinese medicine on a journey to understand and tend to her own anxiety and depression and now has a passion for helping others who experience a similar reality. She enjoys treating a wide variety of conditions and welcomes anyone looking for care.

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