Many women look beyond traditional medicine and standard practices when faced with challenging fertility issues or severe pregnancy symptoms. One method that has produced sound results is acupuncture. In fact, many fertility specialists and OBGYNs recommend acupuncture as a supplemental treatment. For some women, the benefits of acupuncture for fertility and pregnancy symptoms are quite amazing.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice of placing very fine, sterilized needles in the body at certain points that help the body function properly. The exact points where the needles are placed are known paths or meridians that link the interior and exterior of the human body. When even this light pressure is placed in these areas, many bodies respond in amazing ways. Even though acupuncture uses needles, it should not hurt and there are very little risks associated with the practice.
The Benefits of Acupuncture for Fertility
While acupuncture is not a fail-proof way to get pregnant, many hopeful women use it to help with certain fertility issues. Acupuncture is known to help regulate the thyroid, which is an essential part of the endocrine system that releases hormones. Infertility is sometimes a result of hormonal imbalances, especially estrogen. Additionally, acupuncture increases blood flow throughout the body making the uterus a more sustainable environment to conceive and can correct spasmed tubes.
When using acupuncture for fertility purposes, experts recommend starting treatment several months prior to trying to conceive. Giving the body time to regulate and improve can make getting pregnant easier, especially when attempting in-vitro fertilization or insemination. Acupuncture can continue well into pregnancy but is recommended for at least the first trimester since most miscarriages occur during that phase.
The Benefits of Acupuncture for Pregnancy Symptoms
Moms-to-be who are experiencing adverse pregnancy symptoms often turn to acupuncture for relief. In fact, whether or not a mom has a tough pregnancy, there are many benefits of acupuncture while pregnant. Acupuncture increases blood flow, giving pregnant women more energy. This also helps nourish babies by more effectively delivering nutrients through the umbilical cord, which in turn boosts the baby’s immune system. Acupuncture helps alleviate many side-effects of pregnancy too, such as nausea, indigestion, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, edema and back pain.
In a way, acupuncture is also relaxation therapy for mothers. Stress during pregnancy can greatly affect babies and moms-to-be. Acupuncture calms the nervous system to ease some of the stress and anxiety that many expectant mothers experience.
The benefits of acupuncture extend to labor, delivery and postpartum care as well. Women who receive acupuncture treatment typically have fewer miscarriages, preterm labor and tend to deliver on time. After delivery, acupuncture can encourage a healthy milk supply, reduce incidence of postpartum depression, help mothers recover from childbirth and regulate the digestive tract after giving birth.
Acupuncture is a licensed profession in many states in the U.S. When seeking treatment, it’s important to find someone who is licensed and board-certified, as well as someone who specializes in reproduction, fertility or pregnancy acupuncture. There are certain areas to avoid when trying to conceive or when already pregnant, including the lower abdomen, gallbladder, bladder, spleen and intestines. Most fertility experts and OBGYNs can recommend an appropriate acupuncturist to meet their patients’ needs. Acupuncture usually works best when combined with herbal and traditional medications and treatments.