How do we think about acupuncture during pregnancy?
We use different treatment strategies depending on what stage of pregnancy you are in. If one is in the first trimester, our goal is to nourish and sooth. It's interesting how disruptive a tiny, developing ball of cells can be for the person growing it. It can lead to nausea, sleep disruptions, anxiety, and more. Personally, I had persistent headaches. All throughout pregnancy we can help release areas of tension and support the growth process. The pregnant body is being flooded with the hormone Relaxin, which, as the name implies, relaxes the ligaments to allow for expansion, but also can create a less stable structure, leading to easy injury, strains and pulls. Pregnant bodies are doing so much work, and need gentle stimulation but we are able to direct the body's natural resource to sooth these aches and pains. And we save the strongly moving points for the end of the third trimester.
On the topic of labor, we often get calls asking if we do "induction" treatments. We prefer to use the term, "labor prep," because it is more accurate. We are releasing energetics obstructions, opening passage for stagnation to move, and this can release whatever might be inhibiting labor from starting. We also use specific points that promote systemic movement, downward movement, as well as softening and ripening. But if the body is not ready to move toward labor, then it simply will not happen.
Research shows that labor prep treatments can support shorter labor times, less intervention and more positive outcomes.
Please let me know if we can answer any other questions on this or any other topic.
See you soon!