Written by: Adrianne L. Ortega LAC, FABORM of Alma Acupuncture
Hello everyone, my name is Adrianne L. Ortega LAC, FABORM. I am a licensed acupuncturist and am the only female and bilingual board certified Reproductive Acupuncturist (ABORM) here in San Antonio. Most of the patients I treat at my office suffer from women’s health issues or fertility issues; including, endometriosis, PCOS, irregular menstruation, painful menstruation, hot flashes, and pregnancy issues. Many patients seek out my services because I also treat many women during their pregnancy. Oftentimes, during pregnancy women cannot take OTC or regularly prescribed medicines because they are not safe for the baby during pregnancy. Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for many pregnancy side effects on the body. Here are the top 3 reasons to get acupuncture during your pregnancy.
Acupuncture is incredibly helpful in preventing and treating nausea. Yes, it is widely understood that acupuncture is an effective treatment for nausea during pregnancy and best of all it is completely SAFE. No one likes to have morning sickness or nausea during their pregnancy or any other time. Many well-known celebrities have used acupuncture to prevent and treat nausea during their pregnancy: Natalie Portman, Fergie, Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion to name a few. The biggest concern during intense nausea and vomiting is dehydration. This can be avoided or decreased safely during pregnancy with the help of acupuncture. There have been several research studies that confirm that acupuncture can treat or prevent nausea and vomiting. Did you know that most big cruise ships have an acupuncturist these days? Yes, they do because acupuncture is proven to reduce nausea and vomiting. We all know that many people can suffer from sea sickness while traveling on a cruise. It makes sense, why not have an acupuncturist on board to help fellow travelers?
There are some insurance policies that will cover acupuncture treatment and it is specifically for the treatment for nausea. Even insurance companies are starting to find that acupuncture is definitely a viable option for the treatment of nausea.
Acupuncture has a soothing, stabilizing effect on pregnancy, balancing hormones and regulating the endocrine system. Sometimes a patient will come to my office and is very concerned that they are having spotting or uterine cramping. Acupuncture can increase blood circulation and help with calming down the uterine muscle to prevent a loss. Acupuncture can help as long as there is not a genetic abnormality when there is a threatened miscarriage. I have been able to help many people with preventing a miscarriage with the help of acupuncture. Some pregnant women came in with a history of miscarriages and some were able to get pregnant while receiving acupuncture treatment in my care. The last thing anyone wants to happen is for their pregnancy to not be viable. My fertility patients work incredibly hard to conceive. I do everything I can to help their body keep their embryo safe and nourished. When there is a history of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), preventative treatment needs to be central to the treatment plan. Acupuncture is able to help decrease cortisol (stress hormone) and therefore is also helpful in keeping progesterone high to keep the embryo safe and stable. Most of my patients love to come in during this time because it is part of their self care routine and they can relax and even take an “acu nap” where they feel refreshed and energized. Treating during the first trimester when there is a history of RPL is incredibly crucial.
Research has shown that 1 treatment a week for the last 4-5 weeks can reduce labor time by an average of 3-6 hours. In the last weeks of pregnancy, acupuncture can help increase blood flow to the uterus, ensure the baby is in optimal head-down position, and prepare for a smooth birth. In a study of over 800 women, an ease-labor series of acupuncture helped 78% of women deliver in 10 hours or less. I remember 2 patients in particular. Both were first time Moms and they were both great about coming in during the last month of pregnancy. One delivered within 7 hours and the other delivered her baby in just under 10 hours for delivery. They both said their labor was intense; however, it was quicker than they had anticipated. Just this week I had a first time Mom who came for ease labor acupuncture and was able to deliver her baby in about 4 hours. Yay for acupuncture and shortening labor!
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