Acupuncture is a form of therapy where very fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body and left for 20 to 30 minutes. It has its origins in Chinese medicine. Today, it is widely used across the world. It is used as a complementary therapy alongside conventional medicine.
Acupuncture during pregnancy can be beneficial for:
- Birth preparation
- Serious musculoskeletal pain e.g. back pain, sciatic nerve pain and pelvic pain
- Relief from the effects of severe vomiting (hyperemesis)
Acupuncture is a natural and gentle treatment which may help prepare you for your labour. It can encourage the body to naturally release the hormones that soften and ripen the cervix (prostaglandins) and the hormone that triggers contractions (oxytocin). Treatment can also help calm the mind and strengthen your blood and energy levels, preparing you for labour and birth. Evidence shows that acupuncture can reduce the chance of going overdue, making it less likely that birth will need to be induced.
At Sasoros, we can use acupuncture during pregnancy to treat musculoskeletal problems, such as back pain. The insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body is proven to reduce pain by stimulating the brain and spinal cord to produce endorphins (natural pain-relieving chemicals), melatonin (which promotes sleep) and serotonin (to promote wellbeing).
Severe vomiting, also known as hyperemesis or morning sickness, can be experienced during pregnancy. Thankfully, this is usually only during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. At Sasoros we use acupuncture to help to relieve you from the discomfort you may be feeling because of hyperemesis.
Acupuncture Treatments at Sasoros
Treatment consists of weekly acupuncture sessions and may continue until the start of labour. We will only provide acupuncture treatment after undertaking a full assessment of you and your health. Acupuncture is not suitable if you have a bleeding disorder, such as haemophilia, or are taking anticoagulants.
If you have never had acupuncture before, you should not be worried. Acupuncture is very safe. There are no known side effects apart from minor bleeding or bruising. However, on rare occasions, patients may feel lightheaded, when we would cease treatment and offer alternative therapies.