Acupuncture can be used safely during all stages of pregnancy. Acupuncture is beneficial for the pregnant women from the first weeks of pregnancy through labor and delivery and also for postpartum care. Some Chinese herbs alleviate morning sickness, other herbs help prevent miscarriage and some herbs should not be used during pregnancy. Chinese herbs should be prescribed by an acupuncturist who specializes in prenatal care and should be used cautiously during pregnancy.
Postural changes, hormonal changes, weight gain and edema cause some women to experience musculoskeletal pain during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Acupuncture is an effective, drug-free, pain relief treatment for all of the following musculoskeletal conditions: lower back pain, sciatic pain, headaches or migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome with tingling in the arms, swollen ankles and painful feet.
Read Dr. Rakela's article about specific treatment during the first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy.
The National Institutes of Health recognize acupuncture and moxabustion as effective treatments to help turn breech babies to the natural delivery position. If a baby is in the breech position, the heat of a lighted moxa stick is used to warm a specific acupuncture point during weeks 32-38 of the pregnancy. This treatment successfully turns many babies. Moxa is a Chinese herb, Artemisia vulgaris, which is rolled into a stick that looks like a cigar and is used to heat acupuncture points.
Acupressure on specific acupuncture points can also be effective for pain relief during labor. During the month of your pre-birth acupuncture treatment, your acupuncturist will train your partner in the specific pain relief points to be used during labor.
Childbirth can be physically and emotionally demanding. A woman's system will need rejuvenation after a successful delivery. Being replenished with herbs and acupuncture after giving birth ensures healthier, more comfortable lactation and nursing. It helps bring the body and hormones back into balance and helps with postpartum depression. New mothers are welcome to bring their newborn babies with them when they come for acupuncture treatment.
Postpartum Conditions Treated with Acupuncture:
Nancy Rakela, OMD, LAc., has helped women deal with the physical and emotional changes that affect them during pregnancy for 25 years. Call us at 510.540.6267 to set up an appointment.