Pregnancy acupuncture 

10 reasons why you should try acupuncture during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, your life is different. The body is changing with that the baby grows every day. Should you do anything differently? In aspect of acupuncture, should you have acupuncture during your pregnancy?

Pregnancy acupuncture is not compulsory. If you like, you can have it. What is the benefit of acupuncture during pregnancy? There are 10 reasons that you should try acupuncture during your pregnancy.

1, When you are pregnant, the hormones change dramatically, this can cause some symptoms which can make you unwell. Such as morning sickness, nausea, vomiting, tiredness etc. Acupuncture can help your body adjust to the hormone changes to reduce or get rid of these symptoms.

2, Sudden hormones changes and lifestyle changes can make the body stressed. Acupuncture can help reduce stress of mom and baby.

3, Acupuncture can release any tension in the body to help blood circulating well.

4, Acupuncture can help reduce any pain during pregnancy.

5, Acupuncture can help you sleep well.

6, You will not be able to have botox injection during the pregnancy. Facial acupuncture can help reduce wrinkles, improve circulation on the face during pregnancy.

7, Acupuncture can help circulation to reduce legs and feet swellings.

8, Acupuncture can help turn breech baby around to be ready for birth.

9, Acupuncture can help initiate labour at late pregnancy stage.

10, During pregnancy, you will not be able to take many medications which would affect the baby. Acupuncture doesn’t have any side effects and doesn’t cause harm to the baby.

Effect of acupuncture on nausea and vomiting morning sickness in pregnancy

Up to 90% of pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting. Hyperemesis gravidarum is an extreme end of hyperemesis or morning sickness which is prolonged and severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. One of the main dangers of this condition is dehydration. Women with hyperemesis gradidarum could be constantly nausea and vomiting many times a day and it is difficult to keep fluids within the body. It could cause lot of weight loss, electrolyte imbalance and blood volume depletion. This condition is caused by hormone in pregnancy and is improved when the hormone levels go down as pregnancy turns to 13 weeks. Sometimes it could continue throughout of pregnancy. This condition is not likely to cause any harm to the baby. But there is a risk of the baby being born with a low birth weight if there is a significant weight loss during the pregnancy. Intravenous fluids and medication are used to control the vomiting and nausea.

Foods in rich carbohydrates and low fat and acid are recommended. Recommended foods include Light snacks, nuts, dairy products, beans and dry and salty biscuits. Electrolyte-replacement drinks and taking nutritional supplements are beneficial for maintenance of electrolyte balance and sufficient calories. Intake of food rich in protein is recommended. Use of ginger and vitamin B6 are effective though there is limited evidence.

Acupuncture was used in China to treat morning sickness. Carisson CP et al from University Hospital, Lund Sweden conducted a randomized placebo controlled trial to study the effect of acupuncture in treating morning sickness. Acupuncture treatments were given three times daily on treatment days. Each treatment lasted for 30 minutes. Acupuncture point PC6 was selected. Women in the acupuncture group had significantly quicker decrease in the amount of nausea they experienced compared with the placebo control group. There was also a significant difference in the amount of vomiting between the acupuncture and placebo groups. In acupuncture group there were fewer patients vomiting. There was no significant difference of food intake between the two groups. There were no side effects observed. The possible mechanisms for the acupuncture inhibiting nausea and vomiting include that acupuncture inhibits nociceptive transmission and autonomic reflexes; acupuncture decreases pain in the system; acupuncture has effect on gastric intestine tract; the effect of acupuncture is through somatovisceral reflexes.

NHS service shows: acupuncture help your birth preparation to normalise birth.

Research has shown that acupuncture may help with labour and delivery. An NHS maternity acupuncture service providing birth preparation acupuncture has assessed its routine hospital maternity annual data from 2014 to 2016 to see what effect it had on labour and delivery outcomes. The data from this service was analysed and women who had birth preparation acupuncture were compared with those who did not receive it.

Results shown that women who received birth preparation acupuncture had more normal births (less surgical births), required less intrapartum analgesia, fewer components of an induction of labour and a reduced length of a hospital stay. The patients highly valued the availability of acupuncture within the maternity service as it enhanced their patient journey. Acupuncture for birth preparation effects include musculoskeletal preparation of the pelvis, cervical ripening, enhancing endogenous oxytocin release, and analgesic properties. This study supports the use of maternity acupuncture in normalising birth outcomes.

References

Lokugamage AU  et al J Obstet Gynaecol. 2020 Jan 23:1-6. doi: 10.1080/01443615.2019.1694878. [Epub ahead of print]

Acupuncture for labour induction

Sometimes labour can be induced at certain circumstances: for example, if your baby is overdue or there's any sort of risk to you or your baby's health. An induced labour is one that's started artificially. It's fairly common. Every year, 1 in 5 labours are induced in the UK. Some research data demonstrate that elective labour induction decreases the rate of still-birth without increasing the caesarean section rate. The induction is generally performed between 41 and 42 weeks according to the guidelines.

 

Pharmacological labour induction is obtained through intracervical/vaginal prostaglandins and/or oxytocin infusion, both related to foetal and maternal side effects. In particular, oxytocin infusion increases the rate of caesarean section and operative delivery, while vaginal prostaglandin administration increases the risk of an excessive uterine activity associated with foetal distress without affecting caesarean section and operative delivery rate.

 

Acupuncture is used for labour induction for women who like to avoid medical and surgical procedures. A recent study with 375 cases just published has shown that the women with acupuncture treatment experienced a higher rate of spontaneous onset of delivery compared to those without acupuncture. Prolonged pregnancy was lower in women receiving acupuncture compared to those without acupuncture. The oxytocin infusion rate was lower in the acupuncture group than in the control group. The rate of operative delivery is lower in women treated with acupuncture compared to controls. The possible mechanism is that acupuncture stimulates central oxytocin release and parasympathetic uterine activity increasing contractility; Acupuncture is softening the cervix and inducing uterine contractions to initial labour process.

References

Neri I et al. J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2018 Jun 8. pii: S2005-2901(17)30196-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2018.06.001. [Epub ahead of print]

Facial rejuvenation acupuncture for pregnant women

Women have to stop their botox treatment when they are pregnant. Facial rejuvenation acupuncture is a good alternative. There is no side effects of facial acupuncture, no toxin; furthermore it promotes relaxation and reduces stress and anxiety and improves circulation. 

Pregnancy acupuncture in the UK.

Recently a survey in the UK was to explore how acupuncturists used acupuncture for maternity care within their women's health practices. 114 survey forms were sent and 99 replies were received, a response rate of 86.8%. The result has shown that in addition to fertility and menstrual conditions, the majority of the practitioners (87 [87.8%]) had treated at least 1 pregnant woman each. The most-common maternity situations encountered were: birth preparation (84 [96.5%]); nausea & vomiting (82 [94.2%]); and inducing labor (79 [90.8%]). More than 50% of the practitioners were also treating lower-back and pelvic pain (77 [88.5%]), breech presentations (74 [85.0%]), threatened miscarriages (55 [63.2%]), and headaches/migraines (46 [52.8%]). Greater number of referrals were received from medical health professionals for pregnancy (54 [65.8%]) than for fertility (16 [19.5%]) or menstrual conditions (8 [9.7%]). They concluded that the most frequently treated pregnancy conditions concerned nausea, birth preparation, and labor induction; more than half of the practitioners were also treating pregnancy-related lower-back and pelvic pain, breech presentations, threatened miscarriages, and headaches and migraines. Referrals from Western medical practitioners were more common for maternity acupuncture than for fertility or menstrual health.

References

Betts D et al Med Acupunct. 2019 Oct 1;31(5):274-280. doi: 10.1089/acu.2019.1386. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

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