There’s no right or wrong time to begin receiving acupuncture in your pregnancy. Some folks begin as soon as they find out they’re pregnant. Others begin in their final trimester, sometimes even in their final weeks.
However, there are benefits to starting early. For one, receiving acupuncture enables the body to deepen into a parasympathetic state of rest and rejuvenation. I love to work with the ‘Ren Mai’ or Conception Vessel with my pregnant patients - a meridian that begins at the perineum and runs through the mid-line, connecting the head, heart and womb and encouraging a deeper sense of influence and connection between parent and baby. Acupuncture is also a great tool for assisting a plethora of common pregnancy symptoms ie. morning sickness, muscle aches and pains, acid reflux, fatigue, anxiety, pelvic pain, headaches to name a mere few.
When it comes to the pointy end of pregnancy, I believe in the wisdom of baby and birthing parent. However in some circumstances, it may be strongly advised that the birthing person to be induced or have a caesarean on or before the baby’s due date. If this is the case, acupuncture is a great natural alternative to help soften the cervix, stimulate uterine contractions and relax the birthing person to encourage the natural onset of labour.
The following points are commonly needled a few times a week before the scheduled induction date.
Large Intestine 4
This point is said to stimulate uterine contraction, encourages the downwards movement of Qi and can provide pain relief during the labour.
This acupuncture point is found on the sacrum and is said to stimulate dilation of the cervix by increasing the natural production of prostaglandins. This point increases blood flow to the uterus and can increase uterine contractions.
This acupuncture point promotes ripening of the cervix and is thought to be helpful for inducing labour and decreasing labour pain.
Bladder 67 - FOR BREECH PRESENTATION
It is suggested that moxa applied to this point stimulates the adrenal glands which results in increased levels of estrogen in the placenta. It also changes levels of prostaglandins which raises the basal tone and enhances uterine contractility—this stimulates fetal movement which is necessary for correcting breech presentation.