For thousands of years acupuncture has been used to aid in fertility, alleviate discomfort during pregnancy and reduce stress and rejuvenate after birth. Ideal for mothers-to-be seeking a safe, drug-free solution for the inevitable discomforts that come with pregnancy, acupuncture has proven an effective source of relief for many.
Whether you are trying to conceive, currently pregnant or caring for a newborn, acupuncture, combined with a healthy balanced diet is proven to have a positive effect.
Acupuncture for fertility – before pregnancy
Today, acupuncture is often recommended by medical professionals for women preparing and undergoing IVF or IUI treatments. Studies have shown acupuncture improving the flow of blood to the uterus and ovaries. Such blood flow has been linked to healthier eggs and embryos. A 2014 study also discovered a link between acupuncture treatment and more prevalent production of a three-layered uterine lining - the most fertile lining which makes it easier to conceive.
It is for these reasons as well as the element of stress reduction often associated with acupuncture treatment that western fertility treatments are often combined and complemented by an acupuncture regime.
Acupuncture during pregnancy
Acupuncture is also widely utilised during pregnancy to alleviate many of the undesirable symptoms that being pregnant brings. Along with helping with back pain, joint pain, heartburn and sciatica, Acupuncture is often recommended as a drug-free form of relief from nausea and morning sickness.
A comprehensive 2002 study out of Australia which examined 593 women suffering from morning sickness, found that those who received acupuncture treatment experienced a notable decrease in periods of nausea and dry retching.
Acupuncture after pregnancy
After giving birth it is important to look after both your physical, and your mental health. Not only is acupuncture used to boost energy levels post pregnancy, but it is also used to help address mental health issues experienced by many women after giving birth.
It is estimated that up to 80% of women experience some kind of “baby blues” with up to 20% experiencing severe, clinical postpartum depression. Managing postpartum depression is very important as it can lead to poor maternal habits such as poor diet, interrupted sleep and recklessness.
Acupuncture is used commonly both during and after pregnancy as a non-pharmacological solution to depression. A 2014 study found that, when used to complement psychological intervention (such as counselling), Acupuncture had the same rate of effectiveness as the commonly prescribed anti-depressant fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac) but without the adverse side effects of the drug (nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite).
While pregnancy should be an exciting and ultimately rewarding experience, many women have to ensure an array of unpleasant symptoms at each stage of pregnancy. If you are trying, currently pregnant or recently given birth, feel free to give Clinic 38 a call for a free consultation and find out how acupuncture can improve your wellbeing.