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Hui(Grace) Gao LAc., TCMD
Often acupuncture helps with nausea due to pregnancy.
There are acupuncturist specialists who treat infertility and OBGYN problems. Go to www.https://aborm.org to find a specialist.
Of course, every case is different and we would not advise against your doctor's wishes, but acupuncture is relatively harmless and our pregnant patients appreciate the relief they receive from this natural modality of treatment!
There are a few points that are forbidden during pregnancy, which the practitioner will avoid. However, there are many amazing points to be used that help the bond between the mother and the fetus and others that help strengthen the fetus.
Congratulations on your pregnancy, I hope your baby is happy, healthy and gives you decades of joy as a mother. The reason there is mixed reviews about acupuncture during pregnancy is multi-fold, but I can hopefully guide you to an appropriate choice for yourself. I cannot properly advise on your case since I have not met you in person, but here are some guidelines.
1. Acupuncture can actually assist with a healthy pregnancy when the mother has a healthy body, the problems come in with certain points that are traditionally considered "forbidden during pregnancy". Anyone properly trained in Chinese medicine is very aware of these points, even though, in modern times with the modern style of needles the risk is minimally problematic.
Generally, points above the uterus or low back are avoided and points considered "forbidden" i.e. LI-4, SP 6, GB-21 are avoided because they have strong 'moving and descending' properties. Again, in a healthy body and later in the pregnancy they are less problematic - mostly only problems in first trimester. To be safe, though, most all practitioners know to stay clear of those, especially if mother is prone to miscarriage.
2. Depending on the health of the mother (you), points can be needled, activated and removed (called "in and out" needling or "non-retained" needle technique) but still be useful. This way, the points are still activated, but the needles are not left in the body, so they do not "drain energy". When the mother (you) is weaker, long retention of needles can be considered 'draining'.
3. Acupuncture can help regulate the hormones, the circulation, the emotions, etc, so acupuncture while pregnant can help with "pregnancy issues" i.e. you can get acupuncture to help your body do it's job as a baby making body instead of working on "cholesterol" issues and that way "build" instead of "remove". One potential problem I see is while maintaining cholesterol levels one might "drain" the channels.
That would mostly be problematic if the practitioner was overly aggressive in their tactics - if so, they could reduce the aggressive nature of the treatment i.e. do "more mild" type approaches (such as "in and out needling" as mentioned above or select points that generically tonify the body's functions instead of pushing it in one direction).
Again, a licensed professional, well trained practitioner would consider all of these possibilities and options, so speak to your L.Ac., let them know you are pregnant and that you want your treatments to continue but want to go slow while pregnant.
4. IF YOU ARE PRONE TO MISCARRIAGE - if you have had miscarriages in the past and getting pregnant was very difficult for you, I would most likely either reduce treatments or hold off until the baby is born. If not, then refer back to the previous paragraph.
5. Please make sure that you are getting acupuncture from a Licensed Acupuncturist, who has full training in Chinese medicine - not a DC or MD who took some courses and certainly not from a PT who only took "dry needling" classes.
Good luck and again, Congratulations. :-)
So long as you're seeing a board certified acupuncturist (someone who actually went to oriental medical school and carries an NCCAOM board certification versus a physical therapist or chiropractor), you should be fine. Just make sure your practitioner knows you are pregnant.
I believe all well-trained acupuncturists know some points can't be used during pregnancy. It is quite safe to continue to get acupuncture treatment, especially if you are worried about taking medicine during this period of time.
Hope your physician can understand this. BTW, change in diet is also good for the cholesterol problem. You also can consider this option.
Will this be your first baby? Congratulations!
Huan Wen Jonathan Fang
Just an aside, I treat women who are attempting to get pregnant, those who have morning sickness and back pain, I have turned a breach baby, and I help induce labor. There is no part of the process in which acupuncture cannot be a help.
First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy. Acupuncture is perfectly safe during pregnancy. It will actually help you during pregnancy as well as your delivery and the postpartum recovery. There are a few acupuncture points to avoid during pregnancy and your acupuncturist should know these points.
Sincerely and wish you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery,
Scott Sang In LeeChun Am Acupuncture천암 한의원
Amy Gendron, AP
I personally did acupuncture with all my three pregnancies. I'm treating pregnant women daily.
licensed acupuncturist is fully trained to know which points are contraindicated during pregnancy and, in fact, which points can be used to treat breech position and to induce labor, when appropriate.
Richard Mandell, Lic.Ac.
If your acupuncture doctor is knowledgeable and had good experience treating pregnant women, it should NOT be a problem at all.