Besides nurturing mama and baby, acupuncture can uniquely treat various conditions that come up in the different trimesters, including postpartum. Let’s dive into the four trimesters…
In your first trimester we:
- Treat nausea and vomiting. This trial shows acupuncture works for nausea and retching in pregnancy. This review demonstrates acupoint “P6” works for all types of nausea and vomiting.
- Hold and secure a pregnancy with points that have a “lifting” effect.
- Help you heal in the event of a miscarriage, and reset your hormones to get back on track.
- Calm fear and anxiety. Acupuncture is deeply nurturing, calming, centering, balancing, and relaxing.
- Screen early for anemia, hypothyroid, high blood sugar, and low vitamin D.
- Start customized supplements, as no prenatal vitamin is one-size-fits-all, or good for all trimesters.
- Help hormone adjustment symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, exhaustion, and digestive distress.
- Encourage blood supply to baby and nurture mama – applicable in all trimesters.
- Provide resources for birth providers, doulas, classes, and other gems in our local birth community.
In your second trimester we:
- Track and normalize your blood pressure and blood sugar, to avoid pre-eclampsia and diabetes.
- Expand supplements and nutrition, as needs are higher during this trimester.
- Harmonize the connection between you and your baby. You are merged physiologically and energetically, in ways we do not understand. Ancient acupuncture points, specifically done in months 5 and 7, solidify this harmonious connection.
- Treat reflux, heartburn, and constipation.
- Screen for and treat anxiety and depression. If these show up during pregnancy (yes, during pregnancy, not just postpartum), they often occur during your second trimester.
- Control fibroid growth, and treat yeast or bladder infections.
- Stabilize your pelvis and reduce low back and pelvic pain. As your ligaments loosen, and baby’s weight increases, your abdominal muscles need to open and relax. This forward, anterior lower abdominal “pull” can stress the muscles of your low back. Also, as your sacral ligaments loosen, your lower back can tighten in response.
- Help sinus swelling and infection (often occurs at week 17).
- Work with any skin irritations (tend to start at week 18).
In your third trimester we:
- Treat swelling (edema) and insomnia.
- Prevent early labor.
- Regulate blood pressure and blood sugar.
- Prepare for labor with cervical ripening. This study found acupoints LI4 and SP6 support cervical ripening at term and can prevent late arrivals.
- Encourage baby to move into a head-down position. Often called turning a breech baby.
- Change supplements and nutrition to support you and baby in your third trimester.
- Optimize your gut and vaginal microbiome, which also big influences your baby’s gut microbiome and immune system.
- Help with varicose veins.
Your “fourth trimester”
During and after childbirth you lose a lot of blood and are often wiped out. In modern cultures, we lack postpartum care from an extended family and village of women, who help with your newborn and bring you nurturing food and herbs while you rest and recover. Some women need far more care during postpartum than during pregnancy, especially if recovering from a C-section or experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety.
We recognize the need for postpartum care and:
- Help restore your vitality (qi) and blood.
- “Mother roast,” which is the use of moxibustion over your sacrum to restore ligament integrity and pelvic floor stability.
- Help increase milk supply if needed, as well as help with blocked ducts.
- Find resources you need, such as lactation consultants, counselors, postpartum doulas, pelvic floor physical therapists, resources for infant care, and new mom’s support groups.
- Screen for, and treat, anxiety, and depression.
“Postpartum is a time that’s difficult for new moms to come in for appointments. Often they bring their baby with them, at times lying on the table and nursing during their treatment. I also do postpartum house calls.”
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