Helen has been my rock throughout my long fertility journey and current pregnancy. Her sensitive and intuitive approach means each treatment is unique for what I need that particular day. I always come away feeling lighter, happier, calmer, stronger and more able to cope with any challenges that come my way. I can't recommend Helen highly enough to anybody experiencing fertility problems or needing to find a sense of grounding and calmness during pregnancy.
Many people experience a profoundly calming effect during and after acupuncture treatment. This can help to maintain a healthy pregnancy by reducing the negative effects of stress hormones on the foetus.
There are a number of conditions commonly experienced during pregnancy, which can be safely managed or treated with acupuncture.
Headaches and body pain
Headaches are a problem in pregnancy as most pharmaceutical pain killers have unwelcome side effects. The National institute for health and clinical care excellence (NICE) recommends a using course of acupuncture for the treatment of tension headaches and migraines.
Body pains are common in pregnancy, particularly in the later stages. In our experience, acupuncture can make a real difference in the management of pregnancy related back and groin pain, leg cramps and carpal tunnel syndrome. We use a combination of massage and acupuncture and lots of pillows to keep our clients comfortable.
Nausea and vomiting
There is a spectrum running from mild nausea to hospitalisation due to severe vomiting. Acupuncture is most useful at the mild end of the spectrum. For many women it helps to reduce the intensity of the nausea, but requires twice weekly treatment for best effect.
It’s common for women to experience digestive changes, particularly constipation and haemorrhoids during pregnancy. Acupuncture and dietary recommendations can be effective for alleviating many gastro intestinal problems.
Pre-birth acupuncture offers a safe and effective treatment to promote natural labour. Specific acupuncture protocols developed by midwives help prepare the body for birth. The emphasis of these treatments is to help the pelvis to release and to create space for the cervix to soften.
Problems associated with this stage of pregnancy can also be addressed, such as raised blood pressure; back, leg and groin pain; insomnia; haemorrhoids and anxiety.
A group of midwives started giving pre-birth acupuncture treatments in New Zealand in the late 1990's. They observed that women treated with acupuncture tended to have shorter labours, and fewer interventions (such as medical inductions and C-sections).
Pre-birth acupuncture is generally carried out weekly from week 36 or 37.
Acupuncture with the aim of inducing labour is used when women are scheduled for medical inductions, or have prematurely ruptured membranes. In these cases higher frequency treatments are advised: three conducted over consecutive days, or every other day.