Acupuncture and Acupressure During Pregnancy
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine has a history of over 3,000 years in helping women before, during and after pregnancy. Today, even right here in the Twin Cities, acupuncture is effectively utilized in both inpatient and outpatient settings, to address a wide range of pre and postnatal symptoms. Acupuncture can be effective not only for managing these common symptoms that arise during pregnancy, but can also help to relax the body and calm the mind. In addition to addressing specific symptoms, “pre-birth acupuncture” starting at 37 weeks can be a highly effective treatment to prepare the body for labor, shorten the duration, and minimize the need for additional interventions.
Acupuncture can help with the following symptoms during pregnancy:
- Back, hip and pelvic pain
- High blood pressure
Prebirth and acupressure
Weekly acupuncture and acupressure sessions beginning at 36 weeks, can help to prepare the body for labor and delivery and promote relaxation and restful sleep. Before labor begins, acupuncture and acupressure can be especially helpful to ripen the cervix, release oxytocin, and encourage a more natural, efficient labor. Research has shown that acupuncture and acupressure once a week from 36 weeks gestation using specific acupuncture and acupressure points, was successful in reducing the mean labor time of the women treated. Additional research on this technique also revealed the following statistics:
- 35% reduction in the number of inductions for women who have had more than one child and for women having their first child the reduction rate was 43%
- 31% reduction in the epidural rate
- 32% reduction in emergency cesarean sections
- 9% increase in normal vaginal births
Acupuncture and acupressure for natural labor encouragement
Once a woman has reached her due date or is overdue, acupuncture and acupressure for natural labor encouragement can begin. This treatment is aimed at helping the body to be in the best possible place to naturally start the labor process. This treatment is gentle and safe, and, if induction is still needed, many women find that the process goes smoother with fewer complications.
Hennepin Healthcare offurs acupuncture and acupressure at many of their clinic locations. Although most acupuncturists can perform acupuncture on pregnant women, make an appointment with these acupuncturists who specialize in pre-natal acupuncture and acupressure:
Jessica Brown, LAc, DiplAc, MOm at the Clinic & Specialty Center Integrative Health Clinic at 612-873-6963.