Pregnancy is a wonderful time for a woman but for some women the hormonal and physical changes involved can create much discomfort and disruption. Conditions such as morning sickness, heartburn, sciatica and symphysis pubic pain are considered to be part and parcel of a ‘normal’ pregnancy but can have a huge impact on a pregnant woman’s lifestyle.
In many Eastern cultures where acupuncture has been used for centuries, it is used as a part of a regular health maintenance programme during pregnancy, as well as to alleviate some of the common problems experienced such as morning sickness, backache and fatigue.
Though there is a growing body of scientific research into its uses, there is, however, little data that conforms to the usual Western medical standards of large scale, double-blind, randomised controlled trials on the human population and, as a result, its efficacy must still be considered to be largely unproven (though there is a higher level of support amongst the medical profession for its effectiveness in treating such things as nausea, vomiting and backache). All of the references to research made within the paragraphs below need, therefore, to be seen in that context.
Acupuncture can be used safely throughout all stages of pregnancy. There is research which suggests, for example, that it may be helpful for relieving stress (stress isn't good for you or your baby) and that it may relieve some of the more common ailments of pregnancy like nausea or backache. There is some evidence that it may help to improve the blood flow to the uterus and help to boost your energy levels too. For more information on research into acupuncture and pregnancy and childbirth have a look at the obstetrics fact sheet prepared by the British Acupuncture Council.
It may also be helpful in the last few weeks of pregnancy, in preparation for the birth. For example, it is often used to help encourage spontaneous natural labour, or to turn breech babies, as well as to help with pain relief during the birth itself.
If you would like to find out how acupuncture might help you then please call Jody for a free confidential chat on 07977 456305.