Written by Suma rp
Aches and pains are a big part of most pregnancies. While you may want some quick relief, pregnancy is not the time to swallow painkillers. So, what do you do? You go for massages, stretch your muscles and just wait for the pain to vanish. Have you ever considered acupuncture during pregnancy?
While you cannot avoid certain injections or multiple blood tests during pregnancy, will you opt to get stuck by multiple needles at the same time around a single spot? Acupuncture is very well known for its effectiveness and benefits. But, will a pregnant woman receive similar benefits as those women who are not pregnant? Let’s dive in to know more about acupuncture, its benefits, and its risks during pregnancy.
In This Article
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese technique to treat pain, and stress, and improve your overall health. It aims to balance the Chi (the flow of energy) in one’s body. Acupuncture is common across most parts of the world today.
Acupuncture is done by inserting needles as thin as your hair strand into your skin. A certified professional will target certain spots around the area of pain and insert the needles for a stipulated amount of time. You may feel tiny pricks when they insert the needle and sometimes may feel it being pulled out.
Both are Chinese treatment techniques. Some of the biggest differences between the two are
Inserting needles, however tiny they are, can be very concerning, especially during pregnancy. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy if you opt for acupuncture during pregnancy, with your doctor’s approval of course.
Many pregnant women suffer from chronic headaches triggered by the various changes happening in their bodies. Sometimes, these headaches are triggered by hormones and may last throughout the pregnancy, making it very hard to carry on with a regular routine. Acupuncture can stimulate the nerves to ease your migraine or tension headaches during pregnancy.
Some studies have found evidence that acupuncture targeting certain spots on the wrist can help ease your nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy. The opinion is very divided and not all studies agree with this.
Indigestion and heartburns are other common phenomena in pregnancy, especially in the later part. Acupuncture can help by modulating the communication between your gut and your brain, thus improving digestion.
As many as 62% of pregnant women have reported carpel tunnel syndrome at some point in their pregnancy. it is a very common complication that causes numbness or a tingling feeling in the fingers. Acupuncture can help remap the brain and relieve these symptoms.
Pregnancy hormone relaxin softens your joints and ligaments. It can not only affect your movement and balance but can add more pressure to your back, leading to lower back pain. Acupuncture is a safe alternative to medicines and painkillers, to treat lower back pain during pregnancy.
Acupuncture targets certain spots and alters your hormonal levels. It can calm you down and relax your body, in preparation for labor. When your body and muscles are relaxed, it is easier for your pelvis to open and the cervix can dilate faster for labor.
Some believe that acupuncture can stimulate the hormones for labor and help ripen the cervix. Not everyone opts for this method but some women who have crossed their due dates and see no labor symptoms opt for acupuncture to stimulate labor.
According to some studies, acupuncture can
Even if you are getting treated by a licensed professional, you need to be aware of the pressure points to avoid acupuncture during pregnancy.
Points on your sacrum, slightly above your ankles, and the fleshy point between your thumb and forefinger can trigger contractions and hence have to be avoided. Pressure points near your lower back and lower abdomen have the risk of the needle going in too deep, so must be avoided. Massaging your lower back or lower abdomen during pregnancy is not safe either. So remember to stay away from all these 5 points, be it acupuncture or acupressure.
Here are some points to look out for when you choose your therapist
Applying the needle to the wrong spots can stimulate contractions. If you are close to your 40th week, this may not be a problem but if you are in your first trimester, this can even lead to a miscarriage.
When done by qualified professionals after getting your doctor’s approval, the chances of complications or severe reactions are rare. Overall, the risks are very minimal and can be avoided with professional guidance.
It is important to be very careful when you are pregnant. If you are planning to undergo acupuncture during pregnancy, please take the following precautions
Acupuncture can alter your hormones, which can have a big impact on your pregnancy. If you notice anything off, be it just a slight pain, a discharge, or discomfort after your treatment, you need to consult your doctor immediately.
Acupuncture during pregnancy can be beneficial if you are suffering from acute pains and your doctor approves the treatment. When treated by a qualified therapist, it can help during both pregnancy and delivery.
Some women use acupuncture to even help them conceive. You can start anytime during your pregnancy after your doctor approves of the same.
If done properly by a qualified therapist, it will not affect the baby. Ensure your therapist avoids the five trigger points and always be vocal about any discomfort or concerns.
Points above your ankle, between your thumb and forefinger, sacrum, lower back, and lower abdomen should not be massaged during pregnancy.
Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.
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