Acupuncture During Pregnancy

Written by Sarah Swanberg MS Lac

The joy and anticipation of new life often comes with some not-so-nice symptoms including nausea, constipation, back pain, pelvic pain, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety and depression. The good news is that acupuncture can help!

Acupuncture is a safe, gentle and effective way to support the body through the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy, especially since many conventional medications are not advised during this time. While it might sound scary to be poked with needles, the experience is actually incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating.

Acupuncture is famous for its ability to promote fertility and balance hormones. Wether you are trying on your own or undergoing fertility treatments, acupuncture can help increase chances of a healthy pregnancy.

During the first trimester, seeing an acupuncturist as soon as any unwanted issues appear can help reduce the severity of symptoms and keep others at bay. Research shows that acupuncture can reduce nausea and vomiting, increase energy , regulate mood and improve sleep quality, regulate digestion, and reduce headaches. Most women are advised to come every week or at least every other until they feel better. For women with a history of miscarriages, weekly treatments in the first trimester can reduce chances of a pregnancy loss.

By the second trimester, many women report feeling better. During this time, moms-to-be are advised to come in for a biweekly or monthly “tune-up” to keep the body running at it’s best and to stay ahead of issues.

In the third trimester, acupuncture can help with the aches and pains associated with a growing belly- sciatica, pelvic pain, fatigue, leg cramps, anxiety, heartburn, etc.

If your baby is presenting in breech position, coming in for a treatment between weeks 32-36 can help turn the baby to head-down. Studies show that acupuncture and moxibustion (the use of a Chinese herb similar burned like incense on the tip of the pinky toe) is more effective (and much more comfortable) than the External Cephalic Version (ECV). 

After week 37, it is recommended that women come 1-2 times weekly to help prepare the body for labor. Studies show that acupuncture can help stimulate the uterus and soften the cervix, reduce medical induction rates, reduce epidural use and reduce labor time. While acupuncture at 40+ weeks to help avoid medical induction can be effective, it is recommended that women start treatments earlier to allow the body time to respond. 

In the postpartum period, your body is working hard to return to it’s normal function, while also providing nourishment for the new bundle of joy. This time can be very hard for new moms and acupuncture can help restore energy, balance emotions, treat fatigue and promote hormonal balance. It’s important for new moms to remember that they need to take care of themselves in order to best take care of their new babies. 

As always, it’s important to make sure your acupuncturist is licensed by your state board and nationally certified by the NCCAOM. 

Click here to book an appointment with Sarah Swanberg L.Ac. at Indigo Acupuncture + Wellness in Stamford CT.

——

SARAH SWANBERG is a board certified diplomate in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology through the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and is licensed to practice in CT. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine from the acclaimed Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York City. She is the owner of Indigo Acupuncture + Wellness in Stamford, CT.