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Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Birth

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This week a regular client in our teaching clinic  who hasn’t been quite so regular for a while called to say that she hadn’t been in because she found out she was pregnant and didn’t think we could treat her anymore. Into her second trimester, she called to ask if we had a policy on treating people who are pregnant. Yes, we do have a policy, we definitely treat people who are pregnant.

There is a long tradition of using acupuncture and herbs to treat complications of pregnancy in Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as to treat pregnant people who want treatment for conditions having nothing specifically to do with the pregnancy at all. The study and treatment of gynaecology, obstetrics and postpartum care is called Fuke and has been an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. Using acupuncture and herbs to ensure the optimal health of the parent-to-be, from conception to labour, was critical to ensure the health of the next generation, and to the future fertility of the mother.

Today we use Traditional Chinese Medicine in the treatment of pregnancy-related symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, back pain, insomnia; prenatally we use it to prepare the body, and mind for the emotional and physical stresses of labour; and postnatally, to support labour recovery, mood regulation, and lactation. Nurse-acupuncturists, and midwives in Euroupe and North America have been using acupuncture and acupressure in the treatment of common pregnancy complications for decades, and acupuncture is even available in some hospitals to help establish and facilitate efficient labour and to help with pain.

Acupuncturists and TCMPs do take special precautions when treating someone who is pregnant. Some points are avoided due to their actions or locations, the body is positioned in a particular way for comfort, and special considerations are made when developing a treatment plan. When these precautions are observed, acupuncture is an excellent, and safe addition to other types of obstetric care.

For more information on acupuncture for pregnancy and birth visit Debra Betts’ website acupuncture.rhizome.net.nz or Claudia Citkovitz’s at citkovitz.net.

#naturalpregnancy #naturalbirth #acupucnturelabour #acupuncturebirth

Photo Credit:

Le Goff, Genevieve. Pregnancy, Birth and Post-Partum with Classical Chinese Medicine. Digital image. Between Heaven and Earth Acupuncture Herbal Medicine. Between Heaven and Earth Acupuncture, 5 Oct. 2014. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. <http://www.betweenheavenandearth.org/Betweenheavenandearth/Seminars/Entries/2014/10/5_Case_Studies__Pregnancy,_Birth_and_Post-Partum_with_Classical_Chinese_Medicinewith_Genevieve_Le_Goff,_L.Ac..html>.