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12 May 20212 min

Acupuncture: natural relief during pregnancy

Acupuncture has been helping pregnant women for thousands of years.

The journey to motherhood as beautiful as it is can sometimes be very challenging. Women may suffer from various conditions, which could affect pregnant women’s health as well as normal development and delivery of the infant.

Seven out of ten women will experience morning sicknesses in their first trimester, one out of two will suffer from some type of musculoskeletal pain, some might also have issues with anemia, insomnia, heartburn, hypertension, diabetes and so on. This creates some added stress and fatigue that can impact the wellbeing of the foetus. 

Having support around, throughout these nine months, will make the experience easier and smoother for women and their babies. But concerns over drug use during pregnancy have helped increase the use of other non-pharmacological treatments.

Acupuncture has been helping pregnant women for thousands of years. It has a positive influence for pregnancy with very little to no adverse effects, when correctly applied. European studies indicate that more and more of obstetric patients receive acupuncture treatment for pregnancy and childbirth concerns.

In the first trimester acupuncture helps to maintain a pregnancy and alleviates early symptoms such as fatigue, nausea and heartburn. Later, the aches, pains, constipation and swelling that go along with pregnancy can be greatly alleviated by acupuncture treatment as well. And in the third trimester acupuncture helps to prepare the body for labor. It aids the baby slowly descending and engaging as well as softening the cervix muscles.

Specific treatments are also used to help breech babies and/or to induce labor if necessary. Acupuncture as a routine pre-birth treatment has been proven to reduce the time spent in labor as well as reduce the rate of medical intervention. 

Finally taking the time for postnatal treatment can help the mother recover faster. It helps increase energy, mood and the overall feeling of well-being. And helps to prevent the “baby blues”, the post-natal depression. Therefore, in pregnancy and after childbirth, acupuncture therapy may be a safe therapeutic modality for relieving discomfort without an adverse delivery outcome.

B.Med. Albane Thorn & Dr. Med. Raymond Landgraaf