Benefits of Acupuncture in the Last Trimester of Pregnancy
The last phase of pregnancy is an important time to prepare for a healthy labor and delivery. Acupuncture is very beneficial to help with this preparation. Some of the ways in which it can help is to greatly relieve common back and hip pain associated with the changing body of the pregnant woman. It is also very beneficial in assisting the body to prepare for a healthy labor.
Back and Pelvis Pain
In the last phase of pregnancy, ladies should be very careful when it comes to their back and lifting heavy objects. In fact, doing anything which could put undue strain on the back should be avoided. As your due date draws closer, your pelvic muscles will begin to soften in preparation for labor which can make you more susceptible to back injuries and hip injuries. Acupuncture can help balance out the tight areas which are compensating.
Preparing for Labor
Chinese medicine has supported women as they prepare to give birth for thousands of years. Acupuncture treatments can help to facilitate the healthy progression of key physical markers during labor, such as regular uterine contractions, cervical dilation, and the relaxing of pelvic ligaments. Acupuncture is also effective when it comes to promoting labor when contractions are irregular or labor is delayed.
If your baby is in a breech position and still has not turned as your due date draws closer an acupuncture technique, known as moxibustion, can help to turn your baby. This technique involves warming a specific point on your little toe with an herb called moxa and has been shown to be an effective method of turning your breech baby. The best phase of your pregnancy to get results from moxibustion technique is around the 34-36 week mark. During this time, the baby is small enough to allow for ample movement in the uterus. Leaving it longer means that you run the risk of your baby growing larger and therefore not having as much room to turn.
Questions & Concerns Regarding Acupuncture During PregnancyUnderstandably, I’ve come across patients that have had reservations and questions regarding acupuncture during pregnancy. It is very safe since its mode of action is to send blood and oxygen to various parts of the body as well as elicit a brain response which initiates natural pain killers and feel good chemicals to be released. None of these qualities pose harm to a pregnant mother or her fetus, nor does a baby just turn or pop out due to the insertion of needles. When the needles send blood and oxygen the body utilizes its own innate intelligence. Having said that, it is important to seek out a professionally licensed acupuncturist that has additional training in this area when choosing a practitioner. Traditionally there are forbidden points in pregnancy which most trained acupuncturists avoid. These points are considered more stimulating in nature and for extra precaution are avoided during this time. These are often the points that are used to help to induce labor.