Pregnancy and childbirth are pivotal events in a woman’s life. Pregnancy can be both exciting and stressful. The body undergoes several changes during pregnancy. These changes can take a toll on the body.
From fatigue to anxiety, several problems can arise during pregnancy. Acupuncture can be used to treat health problems during pregnancy. The ancient Chinese practice involves inserting needles through the skin at strategic points to correct energy imbalances within the body.
Acupuncture is safe and minimally invasive. It is often used by women for whom pain medications are not suitable or who do not want to take medicines for every minor issue during pregnancy.
Many moms-to-be use acupuncture for common pregnancy problems, such as morning sickness, breech baby, delayed labor, and lower back pain. Studies show that acupuncture may help prevent non-genetic miscarriage by reducing cortisol and prolactin levels and increasing progesterone levels.
Another study found that fertility acupuncture in the East Bay area can help increase blood and oxygen flow to the fetus. Acupuncture can help treat or alleviate several health problems associated with pregnancy, including:
- Swelling and heaviness in the legs
- Nose bleeds
- Constipation and back, pelvic, abdominal, and sciatic pain
- Varicose veins
- Stress and anxiety (acupuncture can help reduce cortisol levels)
- Fatigue and anemia
A study involving more than 600 moms-to-be reported that the APGAR score and umbilical cord pH levels of participants who received acupuncture were significantly higher than those who didn’t.
APGAR score is based on a test given to newborns immediately after birth. The doctor tests the newborn’s heart rate, circulation, reflexes, and muscle tone to determine whether extra medical care is needed. Umbilical pH levels indicate whether the baby is in distress or needs extra oxygen.
Acupuncture can boost immunity during pregnancy by increasing the components of white blood cells that protect the body against infectious diseases.
Acupuncture can also help prepare the body for labor and birth. There is enough evidence to suggest that women who get acupuncture treatment once a week in the month before their due date have shorter labors, fewer emergency caesareans, and fewer medical inductions compared to those who don’t.
It is estimated that up to 14 percent of women may experience symptoms of a depressive disorder during pregnancy. Acupuncture may lessen depression symptoms during pregnancy. In a Stanford University study involving 150 pregnant women, around 70 percent of participants who received depression-specific acupuncture reported reduced symptoms.