Acupuncture: a safe treatment option in pregnancy
Pregnancy is a normal condition, but many times discomforts may appear that need to be treated. In many cases, the use of drugs or invasive techniques to solve the problem may prove inadequate, provide a temporary relief or even be harmful to the mother and the fetus. Acupuncture, safe as it is, can be an excellent treatment option for many discomforts that occur during these nine months.
Below there is a list of indications in pregnancy, where acupuncture may be used, which various case studies published in reputable medical journals have shown it to be effective:
- Nausea and vomiting, indigestion and heartburn.
- In the mobilisation of the bowel to improve constipation and haemorrhoids.
- Limiting rhinitis of pregnancy and facilitating breathing through the nose.
- In enhancing any smoking quitting effort,
- Relief from insomnia, which may be associated with birth and maternity concerns and the difficulty of getting a comfortable sleep position during late pregnancy.
- In the management of anxiety and emotional transitions,
- Musculoskeletal spasms in the area of the spine and the pelvis, caused by a combination of factors such as normal lordosis of pregnancy, loosening of ligaments in pubic symphysis and sacral joints and compression of the nerve roots of the lumbar spine and the large blood vessels from the pregnant uterus
- For stiffness in the neck, which might be stress related.
- Relieve carpal tunnel syndrome, which is due to the pressure of the middle nerve at the wrist.
- Relief from headaches that frequently occur during pregnancy
- Moving the fetus from breech to a head position so that it can be born vaginally.
- Softening and preparing the cervix for labour during the last month.
- Analgesia and stress management during childbirth. It has also been shown to reduce the chances of post-partum bleeding.
- During the postpartum period, to increase milk production from the breasts, relieve headaches, back pain, perineal pain and improve mood by minimizing stress.
In conclusion, acupuncture has a place in pregnancy because it applies to the Hippocratic command “first do no harm” and it is an effective holistic treatment since it successfully approaches both body and mind and not just the symptom.