Offered by Jessica Ahmed, Licensed Acupuncturist
Natural Solutions through Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine
While pregnancy and birth are perfectly normal and natural processes, they can still be a huge strain on a woman’s health. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine provide safe and natural relief for many conditions, from pre-conception to post-partum care. Here are some aspects of pregnancy for which Chinese medicine is helpful:
Infertility: Acupuncture is great on its own, or as an adjunct to western medical fertility treatments. Studies have shown that acupuncture significantly increases the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF), and for a procedure that can be physically, emotionally and financially draining, acupuncture provides fantastic support.
Pre-conception: Even in the absence of fertility issues, acupuncture prior to conception can benefit overall wellness during pregnancy. If menstruation is irregular, acupuncture and herbal medicine for 4-6 cycles prior to conception is recommended.
Pregnancy: One of the most common complaints I see amongst pregnant women is morning sickness. Symptoms generally abate after the first trimester, but acupuncture and herbal medicine can often provide much faster relief. Other common pregnancy symptoms treated by Chinese medicine are emotional conditions, including depression and anxiety, as well as pain and swelling.
Inducing Labor: The requests I receive to induce labor often sound something like this: “Hi, I need to schedule an acupuncture session, because if I don’t go into labor within three days, my doctor is going to induce.” While sometimes we can make things happen at that point, it is much easier if we have a little more time! It’s best to establish a relationship with an acupuncturist at least several weeks ahead of your due date to prepare your body for labor.
Post-partum care: This is the most overlooked part of pregnancy care, but is very important to the mother’s recovery. It is unrealistic for many people to take six weeks of rest (which is what my OB/GYN teacher recommended), but try as best you can to create a schedule that allows you to recover at home for at least three weeks. Acupuncture and herbal tonics can help rebuild energy after blood loss and exhaustion from labor, and are also useful for lactation difficulties, mastitis, and post-partum depression.
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