Acupuncture is a safe, effective, and increasingly popular drug free option for treating you throughout pregnancy. Acupuncture can help with ailments that you treated with drugs prior to becoming pregnant – depression, hay fever or thrush for example. Or it may help with pregnancy ailments such as nausea, oedema, carpal tunnel syndrome, varicose veins, rib or pubic synthesis pain. There is a point to stop uterine contractions in early pregnancy, and another to start them for induction purposes. I am also very keen to teach couples simple and effective acupressure techniques to use in labour. This can be a stand alone session for those who don’t wish to have acupressure, or incorporated into prebirth sessions. The treatable preganacy symptoms are broad so please email me at if your condition is not listed here and you would like to know if I can help you.
History of previous miscarriage can leave you feeling anxious in early pregnancy. If you are pregnant again following a miscarriage, acupuncture may be able to help you keep those stress hormones down, which in turn help keeps progesterone levels high. Acupuncture can not make a pregnancy viable, but the support includes a point to stop uterine contractions in early pregnancy, and another to help control bleeding.
Turning babies from breach or posterior position and placing them in optimum position for birth if possible by stimulating an acupressure point on the feet with a heat stick called Moxa. Sounds unbelievable I know 🙂 Even in late pregnancy it may work but the earlier we start the better as there is more room for baby to turn in. I do one treatment in my clinic and then give you a stick to take with instructions on how to repeat the treatments twice a day at home.
Pre-birth treatments are done one a week in the last four weeks of pregnancy. Midwifes have noted that labour time is shorter and that significantly less medical intervention is required if women have received these acupuncture pre- birth treatments. I usually treat women once a week from week 36 to prepare your body for labour. The aim is to soften the cervix for labour, gently promote baby to move lower into the pelvis, help you build up energy, which benefits baby too, and relax the tendons and sinews of the body to help you expand comfortably in this later stage of pregnancy. I strongly encourage you to bring your partner or support person into my clinic so that they can be shown some simple and effective acupressure techniques to use in labour. This gives the birthing partner an important and active role during labour, is easy to do, and requires no massage experience. The techniques are great at easing pain during contractions. They can also calm the woman should labour become overwhelming, and help the transition to an active pushing phase. There are several individual experiences of these treatments on my testimonials page. Debra Betts acupressure booklet is downloadable at http://acupuncture.rhizome.net.nz/downloads/Acupressure.pdf .
Acupuncture inductions work very well and you will hopefully go into labour in a gentler way compared to being artificially induced. A single treatment may be sufficient, but three is more common. If you are about to be induced chemically it is a good idea to receive 3 treatments spaced close together to keep ‘the ball’ rolling. For example on one day have a treatment both in the morning and at night, and another on the morning of the next day. You will hopefully go into labour that night. Your midwife can give you a ‘stretch and sweep’ to help also.
Postnatal acupuncture may help you in a variety of ways. It can deal with insufficient lactation or mastitis. Fatigue and slow recovery issues are very treatable by using points that build energy. Also, take a good multi vitamin – your prenatal one is ideal.
Crying a lot? You may have postnatal depression. It often feels like anxiety rather than depression, not coping maybe. Others may not understand the depth of your not coping feelings as words can lack clear meaning. It may be beyond their experience to feel like you are feeling. While anti-depressants might be best for you, there are other options. For local support try http://www.mothersmatter.co.nz/Support/North-Island/Wellington/