Pregnancy care starts on the day you find out on your blood test a positive pregnancy. As your body goes through a change in hormones and the making of a life in the uterus, there may be minor to more urgent complications throughout your pregnancy.
In the first trimester, pregnancy may seem easy going however, it is the most important stage of the pregnancy where fundamental building blocks of the baby are built. In this trimester, threatened miscarriage and reducing the feeling of nausea and vomiting are two of the most common conditions that are treated for. Miscarriage is a sad event. There are unpreventable miscarriages, where nature selects the most strongest and viable babies to survive and, there are threatened miscarriages where the mother experiences spotting or heavy bleeding, stomach cramps and/or lower back pain in the first trimester. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can offer support and effective treatments in securing the pregnancy. This is highly recommended for women with a history of miscarriage or habitual miscarriage. Acupuncture is also very effective in treating nausea and/or vomiting that may occur during the first trimester. Weekly acupuncture treatments can assist in the reduction of this unpleasant, disruptive and tiring experience, thus allowing you to enjoy your first trimester.
Second trimester is normally the easiest and smoothest stage of the pregnancy. The morning sickness have diminished and there is a present of a radiant glow. However, some women may experience unpleasant and uncomfortable conditions such as constipation, heartburn, urinary tract infection, carpal tunnel syndrome, fatigue to name a few. Acupuncture can provide effective relief to reduce these uneasy experiences, leaving you at your strongest during this trimester.
Acupuncture, a drug free intervention can offer relief and support during your first and second trimester. Areas where acupuncture is effective in treating are:
Threatened miscarriage, bleeding in pregnancy
Nausea and vomiting
Urinary tract infection
Musculoskeletal conditions - lower back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, rib pain, neck and upper back pain, leg cramps
Fatigue and exhaustion
Anxiety and depression
Vaginal discharge and itching,
Small-for-date babies (intrauterine growth retardation)
Third trimester is the last stage of the pregnancy where the baby's organs are fully formed and the preparation for life outside of the womb is starting to take shape. This is an exciting time as your body prepares itself for the arrival of your newborn. At this stage, you are starting to wrap things up at work, preparing the home for the baby, cooking healthy and nourishing food to store in the freezer for Postnatal Care and, checking in with the mid-wife or doctor to monitor the position of the baby.
At 34-36 weeks, it is expected that the baby settle into a head down position within the pelvis. The best position is where the baby's chin is tuck towards its chest and the spine is aligned towards the mother's abdomen. However, not all babies settle into this position and may be in breech presentation. Moxabustion, a highly effective and gentle ancillary technique used in the clinic as a course of treatment, have a high success rate in rotating the baby into a correct position. Studies have shown that early intervention using moxabustion for successfully rotating the baby from breech to head down position is most efficient at 34 weeks.* Women seeking assistance for breech presentation later in the pregnancy (38-39 weeks) have had some success, but it is advisable to start the treatment as soon as possible.
When the baby is in a head down position within the pelvis at 34 weeks, it is advisable for women to come in for routine prebirth treatments from 36 weeks onwards. Prebirth acupuncture promotes efficient natural labour and the reduction of intervention rates such as drugs, medical inductions, instrumental birth and caesarean sections.* At this stage, we also explain and advise the importance of postnatal care. In addition, we will teach your partner and yourself acupressure points to promote and ease pain sensations during labour.
Areas where pre-birth treatments that can be of benefit are:
Breech and posterior position baby
Routine prebirth treatment
Acupressure for labour and delivery
* Betts, D. (2006). The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth. The Journal of Chinese Medicine: United Kingdom.