ACUPUNCTURE DURING THE FIRST WEEKS OF PREGNANCY
Regular monitoring of the pulse (a TCM diagnostic technique) with acupuncture treatment designed to reduce anxiety may offer important and reassuring support during the first few weeks of pregnancy.
A HAPPY AND HEALTHY PREGNANCY
You may have had a long journey with plenty of medical intervention to get this far. Now is the time to relax, let mother nature do her job and enjoy your swelling belly. However should any discomfort or minor pregnancy disorders develop, acupuncture can be helpful in some situations.
PREPARING FOR LABOUR
Many pregnant women like to prepare themselves for labour and for the arrival of their new baby, both emotionally and physically. Birth centre midwifes often recommend acupuncture from week 36 as a support for this process.
For research summaries of acupuncture in pregnancy read a summary below or check our research page:
This randomised and controlled trial recruited 375 women who were 2 days past their due date for delivery. The group that received acupuncture were less likely to be induced than the group that received “usual care”.
This randomised and controlled trial using sham acupuncture found that true acupuncture reduced labour time but did not influence pain of labour.
A reduction in pain and in labour duration was observed in women receiving acupuncture in this trial which involved 144 women giving birth for the first time.
Since there is evidence that the use of antidepressants increases the risk of miscarriage and may have adverse effects on the fetus, there has been much interest in the use of acupuncture to treat depression which occurs in pregnancy.
A number of trials and systematic reviews of the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of depression have been published over the last 5 years and a meta-analysis of these trials concluded that acupuncture is an effective treatment for depression. This trial looked specifically at depression in pregnancy and found that acupuncture was as effective as other standard treatments and worked more quickly.
In this editorial Caroline Smith from University of Western Sydney, discusses recent findings and analysis (Cochrane Review) of treatment for breech presentation.
Moxa applied to an acupuncture point on the foot was shown in this trial to be more effective than other treatments in correcting breech presentation between week 33 and 35 of pregnancy.
Two groups of women had their labours induced with either electroacupuncture or with prostaglandins. In both groups labour was successfully induced however the electroacupuncture group experienced significantly fewer obstetric complications including caesarian sections.
The use of acupuncture and moxabustion on women presenting with breech babies at week 33 was assessed in this large restrospective Dutch study. Acupuncture was shown to reduce the number of breech presentations at term, thus reducing the number of caesarean sections.
This review of 3 trials examining treatment of back and pelvic pain in pregnancy concludes that acupuncture, as an adjunct to standard treatment, is superior to standard treatment alone and physiotherapy.
Nearly 600 women in their first trimester of pregnancy who were suffering from nausea, were treated with acupuncture once a week for four weeks. It was reported that acupuncture reduced nausea and dry retching from the second week of treatment compared with the control group who received no treatment.