Congratulations! Although you’ve received the great news, venturing forward with cautious optimism from this point forward is our best suggestion. You’ve crossed one huge hurdle but we still have 9 months to go before we can really celebrate. The first thing to be aware of is that any pregnant woman is always at risk for miscarriage, especially one who has had difficulty conceiving.
First and Second Trimesters
Because 90% of miscarriages occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, acupuncture treatment at a recommended frequency of 1-2 times per week is essential to support your pregnancy and the health of your baby. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to continue with regular acupuncture treatment during this 1st trimester to decrease the risk of miscarriage. You have invested a lot of time, energy, and money to get to this point so do everything you can to make sure the next 9 months continue smoothly.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine assists in preventing miscarriage that is not due to chromosomal anomalies. One reason for miscarriage other than chromosomal problems is lack of blood flow to the embryo and then, later on, to the placenta. Acupuncture and herbal medicine addresses this issue by stimulating blood flow first to the embryo, and then, later on, to the placenta, ensuring proper delivery of oxygen and nutrition to the developing fetus.
The development of certain organs and systems occur at various points along the nine months of pregnancy. Our acupuncture treatments will be timed to optimize development of a particular organ at the appropriate time. For example, weeks 1-4 will focus on the Liver, followed by the Gallbladder in weeks 4-8, cycling every 4 weeks all the way until weeks 36-40 with the Bladder’s development.
In addition, your developing baby is vulnerable to the influence of your toxins. By using acupuncture on a regular basis, this helps to ensure that the baby will not be affected by such potentially poisonous substances. Babies may be influenced by these maternal toxins, resulting in a childhood tendency for higher fevers when sick, more frequent childhood illness, and a tendency for skin problems such as diaper rash and eczema.
Some of the benefits you can expect from acupuncture treatments may include a relief from the dreaded morning sickness and the more serious bouts of vomiting during their pregnancy. About 50-80% of all pregnant women experience nausea or vomiting in early pregnancy, which can be severely debilitating. A study demonstrating acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating these conditions reported that of 593 women less than 14 weeks pregnant who participated, those who received traditional acupuncture reported having less frequent and shorter periods of nausea than the women who received no acupuncture. These improvements were felt immediately and lasted throughout the study's four-week duration.
Third-trimester treatment can bring much-needed relief from sciatica, backache, pubic and joint pain and even carpal tunnel syndrome and benefits are sometimes immediate.
But more than that, during the last 4-6 weeks of acupuncture, we ensure the blessed event unfolds properly by encouraging a head-down position for the upcoming delivery and helping labor be as normal and as short as possible.
After giving birth, maintaining acupuncture is one of the most critical times for a woman to prevent serious postpartum depression. In addition to restoring a mother's energy levels after the stress of birth and alleviating depression and anxiety, acupuncture can be used postpartum to relieve backache, perineal or other kinds of pain, including pain and numbness from Cesarean section.
Tips during Pregnancy
- Rest! Nap if you're tired. Respect your body's need to conserve energy during such a critical period.
- Minimize seafood that's high in mercury such as albacore tuna and swordfish. Don't eat raw fish (sushi) and deli meats.
- No intercourse during the first trimester.
- Stop herbs unless otherwise instructed.
- Gentle walks - no high impact exercise.
- IVF patients - if HCG levels don't rise, call us immediately for an acupuncture treatment.
- If experiencing spotting, cramping, or low back pain, call us immediately for an acupuncture treatment.
- Stop Warm the Womb spray.
- Continue supplements. Consider doubling the dosage to meet your nutrient needs during pregnancy. Consult your acupuncturist for specific recommendations.
- Frequent snacks of protein and whole grains like nuts, hard boiled eggs, whole grain crackers.
- Frequent eating helps prevent nausea.
- Practice caution in eating out to minimize the chance of food poisoning.
- Increase your protein consumption.
- Stay hydrated as dehydration may cause cramping.
- Eat easily digestable foods such as soups and stews.
- Keep feet, low back, and abdomen covered and warm.
- If possible, avoid plane travel during the first trimester. If you must fly, drink plenty of water and walk around on your trip. If you can afford it, splurge for first class on long plane rides.