During childbirth, the use of prescription drugs for pain and stress relief was an alarming concern, which saw an increase in natural health remedies such as acupuncture during pregnancy. According to a recent poll of 575 women, 17.4% received Chinese medicine care for pregnancy-related symptoms.
First, depending on each individual’s medical history and reason for pain, acupuncture during pregnancy can be helpful in today’s therapy. Acupuncture can be used to alleviate typical pregnancy symptoms such as headaches, nausea, heartburn, and overall fatigue during pregnancy, as well as lower backaches, leg cramps, and carpal tunnel.
When experiencing such symptoms, it’s essential to speak to your doctor or midwife and seek an alternative medicine or treatment, especially when it comes to one’s natural health when giving birth.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a type of natural remedy which originated from traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting tiny needles into the body at various parts. With the use of heat and pressure, the procedure can be highly beneficial for pain management when performed correctly.
Traditional acupuncture involves the use of tiny needles usually inserted near nerves, causing them to produce chemicals such as dopamine, which causes the body to respond. Acupuncture specialists believe that stimulating the immunological and circulatory systems can relieve headaches and migraines regularly as both are common reasons for patients’ initial use.
Throughout the therapy, the patient must remain still while needles are placed beneath the skin which is then left for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the acupuncturist’s recommendation. The entire procedure is generally not uncomfortable, although it might depend on the location of the body receiving treatment.
During and after the acupuncture treatment, the patient will feel calm both physically and mentally, usually accompanied by a feeling of contentment. However, it may take repeated visits for some individuals to experience the full benefits of holistic health treatments as it’s not common amongst standard GPs or specialists.
Should I use acupuncture while pregnant?
As we mentioned before, it depends on the individual’s medical history and pregnancy symptoms. However, as the process involves sticking needles into various body parts, it’s understandable to be concerned for first-time patients.
However, it’s reassuring to know that receiving acupuncture during pregnancy has several proven benefits. For example, research has shown that mothers who receive acupuncture while pregnant at various stages have led to better sleeping routines.
Another significant factor that many pregnant mothers have experienced is lower back and pelvic pain. When targeted specifically, acupuncture can release tension and reduce pain around the lower back area which can benefit mothers immensely during the latter stages before giving birth.
With over 5,000 years of practical history, traditional Chinese medicine has helped many people, both physically and mentally, leading to a problem that one in every four pregnant women face – depression.
In a 2010 study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, an eight-week clinically depressed pregnant woman who did not previously use pharmaceuticals had received regular acupuncture and depression-specific acupuncture. 63% of those who received acupuncture specifically for depression showed a healthier state of mind than 44% who received standard acupuncture treatment.
No matter the symptoms related to pregnancy, consulting your doctor or midwife is most important before deciding on natural health treatments. Perhaps your doctor may suggest additional treatment before seeking acupuncture as a viable option.
Getting the right acupuncturist with knowledge and experience when dealing with pregnancy is also crucial. The life changing experience of giving birth needs to be as comfortable as possible for mothers, and investing in natural health remedies when pregnant allows for healthier solutions in today’s endless book of medical suggestions.