Is Acupuncture Safe During Pregnancy?
For many of our fertility patients, a pregnancy may have been hard-won. Commonly, the question once a positive test has been achieved is whether continuing with acupuncture is safe the duration of pregnancy; and in short, YES! Acupuncture is very safe during pregnancy, up until delivery, and for postpartum recovery. That said, ALWAYS let your practitioner know if you are pregnant, or if you suspect pregnancy, even if the chances feel minimal. Selection of acupuncture points and herbal suggestions will take pregnancy into account.
Understandably, pregnancy can be a time of heightened caution, and acupuncture can be a non-invasive and gentle way to target common issues such as nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, headaches/migraines, back + pelvic pain, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, stress, and generally provide a sense of calm and wellbeing. Many of our patients enjoy the ability to, "disappear" from the world for an hour of relaxation and a acupuncture nap in our office.
What to expect for a course of treatment during pregnancy? Well, that will depend on the issue. If you have an on-going health issue or concern, several consecutive treatments may be required to minimize or resolve the issue. If you are generally over-all in good health and have no specific health issues, once a month during your pregnancy is recommended for general health and wellness. It's also helpful to consider how much energy is required for labor + delivery, and acupuncture treatments can help prepare you for that process. Many doulas and midwives recommend acupuncture as a way to safely prepare for delivery, but please always consult with your attending medical doctor for recommendations in your specific situation.
The postpartum phase, often called, "The Fourth Stage of Labor", is most commonly when new parents often forget about, and have difficulty managing their own health and self-care. Their infant becomes the main focus of support, but recovery from pregnancy and delivery can last for months, up to several years, depending on the person's experience. This is one area where acupuncture, herbal medicines and foods, are often much under-used to help with recovery and managing one's health while trying to care for a young child. It's often worthwhile to consider continuing treatment even after labor + delivery. This is also an important consideration for those wishing to have multiple successful pregnancies, as this can aid in recovery for the next pregnancy, which it's never too early to think about.
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