Common Pregnancy Concerns

Abnormal Fetal Positioning

Acupuncture is a safe, gentle and cost effective treatment for turning breech babies.  In fact, some of the leading OB/GYN practices in Indiana  refer patients to us when confronted with a breech presentation.

Ideally for labor, the baby’s head is down, facing the mothers back (cephalic).  According to the National Institutes of Health, this occurs about 97% of the time. However, breech presentation is considered an abnormal position which often results in a caesarean section and occurs about 3% of the time.

For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine has used acupuncture to help correct abnormal fetal positioning.  Research has demonstrated that acupuncture is effective in turning breech babies and “should be attempted in cases of breech presentation”.

Acupuncture Treatment Protocol

We recommend a series of 1 to 5 treatments starting at approximately 35 weeks. Treatments are given 1 to 2 times per week and you are encouraged to follow up with your OB/GYN to confirm any positional changes with the baby.

I came to David Youran during my 36th week of pregnancy for a breech presentation of my second child. I work as a labor/delivery nurse and had heard acupuncture could assist in encouraging the baby to “turn”. An OB-GYN I work with at my hospital recommended David. I had 2 appointments with David within the same week followed by an ultrasound with my OB on Friday of that week. Ultrasound confirmed my baby had turned! The acupuncture was very relaxing atmosphere. I was so happy that I was able to avoid a c-section. I would highly recommend his practice, he is an excellent practitioner. 
 
Dana
Depression

Depression is more than just having the blues. It is a medical illness that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Depression can cause physical symptoms, too. According to the U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services, about 13% of pregnant women and new mothers experience depression.

Acupuncture and massage present a safe, natural, and effective treatment for depression during and after pregnancy when many medications often taken to treat depression are considered unsafe. In a study conducted at Stanford University, researchers found that acupuncture produced results which were comparable to standard treatments for depression. In another study conducted with massage therapy patients, the massage group had higher dopamine and serotonin levels and lower levels of cortisol and norepinephrine than the control group.

Acupuncture & Massage Treatment Protocol

We recommend coming in for a series of 1 to 5 treatments – anywhere from 2 treatments per week to 1 treatment per month -depending on the severity of the depression. Initially a course of treatment every week will help you start to feel better and as progress continues we attempt to spread out the treatments to every 2 to 4 weeks.

Edema

Edema is the swelling of soft tissue as a result of an increase in fluid retention.  In pregnancy it is often times seen in the legs, feet and ankles, hands and face, and can be worse at night or in warmer temperatures.  Some women may even experience postpartum edema. According to the American Pregnancy Association the body produces 50% more blood and body fluids during pregnancy which enables the body to expand as the baby develops. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to reduce collection of fluids in swollen joints, which also improves the removal of tissue waste, carried by the body’s lymph system.

Our massage therapist is certified in massage for lymphatic drainage.

Acupuncture & Massage Treatment Protocol

We recommend coming in for a series of 1 to 5 treatments—anywhere from 2 treatments per week to 1 treatment per month—depending on the severity of the edema.

Fatigue

One of the most common pregnancy complaints is fatigue.  During the first trimester the levels of progesterone soar as your body is busy building a placenta. Although many women feel revitalized during their second trimester, the fatigue can return during the third trimester as the fetus continues to grow. While almost every woman will feel some level of increased fatigue during a pregnancy acupuncture and massage can help give your body a natural boost that will help you feel as well as you possibly can.

Acupuncture & Massage Treatment Protocol

We recommend coming in for a series of 1 to 5 treatments—anywhere from 2 treatments per week to 1 treatment per month—depending on the severity of the fatigue.

Headache

Headaches are a very common complaint during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. They can be brought on by a number of causes such as surging hormones, stress, low blood sugar, lack of  sleep or general fatigue,  not staying sufficiently hydrated, or caffeine withdrawal. If you are prone to migraines, you may find that they actually ease up during pregnancy, however some women may get them more frequently.

Acupuncture can be a safe and effective treatment for headache and migraine. A review of studies on the subject determined that acupuncture is at least as effective as, or possibly more effective than, prophylactic drug treatment, and has fewer adverse effects. The study concluded that acupuncture should be considered a treatment option for patients willing to undergo this treatment.

Acupuncture & Massage Treatment Protocol

We recommend coming in for a series of 1 to 5 treatments—anywhere from 2 treatments per week to 1 treatment per month—depending on the severity of the headache.

Insomnia

According to The National Sleep Foundation, 78% of pregnant women report trouble falling to sleep or waking in the middle of the night and having trouble falling back to sleep.  Changing hormone levels, pregnancy related discomforts, and emotional issues and concerns can all contribute to a restless night’s sleep.

Acupuncture & Massage Treatment Protocol

We recommend coming in for a series of 1 to 5 treatments—anywhere from 2 treatments per week to 1 treatment per month—depending on the severity of the insomnia.

Labor Induction

Only about  5% of women actually deliver on their due dates. However, as your due date approaches you are probably feeling tired, uncomfortable, and increasingly anxious. Acupuncture is one of the only proven methods for safely and effectively encouraging you to go into labor when you and your baby are both ready.  The conclusion of a study reported by The World Health Organization stated that “If induction of labor is desired, such as in prolonged pregnancy; the effect of acupuncture is comparable with that of oxytocin by intravenous drip.” Lin PC et al.  

Acupuncture & Massage Treatment Protocol

We recommend coming in for a series of 1 to 5 treatments—anywhere from 3 treatments per week to 1 treatment per week—starting around Week 38.

I was eight days past my due date with my second child, and was regrettably scheduled to be induced the next day. Within hours of my treatment with David, my contractions increased in frequency and strength and my body started to go into labor on its own just hours before the scheduled induction! Less than a day later I had a healthy delivery and a very happy family. I truly believe that the acupuncture prepared and prompted my body to “get things moving” and I am so grateful that the whole team at Indiana Reproductive Acupuncture supported my ability to go into labor on my own.

Thank you!

 Julie

Miscarriage Prevention

Even with the joy of a positive pregnancy result, the fear of a possible miscarriage often looms in a woman’s mind. This fear can be even greater if there is a history of recurrent miscarriage (2 or more failed pregnancies). Experiencing a miscarriage takes a great emotional toll on the woman and her family. Acupuncture can help a woman cope with these feelings as she struggles to understand her situation and determine what to do next.

There are many reasons why a pregnancy does not continue. It is important to discuss the cause of your miscarriage with your doctor to understand the next step that he or she recommends. Depending upon the cause, acupuncture can help support the continuation of a pregnancy.

Acupuncture & Massage Treatment Protocol

Miscarriage is most common within the first 13 weeks of the pregnancy, many happening within the first few weeks. Treatment generally focuses on this  time frame, although each patient’s situation is different and specific treatment is developed for each woman.

For women with recurrent early miscarriages, treatment is recommended 1 or 2 times a week until the 13th week or when the threat of miscarriage is reduced.

For women without a history of miscarriage, treatment is recommended 2 times a month through the first trimester.

Mood Swings

Mood changes are very common during pregnancy. The influx of hormones in the body causes changes in the release of mood-regulating neurotransmitters. In addition, the very thought of becoming a mother and bringing another person into the world can bring about a wide range of emotions!

Each woman responds differently to these factors. Some women experience an increase in the intensity of their emotions. Others feel depressed or anxious more often. Sometimes this will last for just a portion of the pregnancy, but many feel some disruption in their normal emotional selves throughout pregnancy.

Acupuncture works gently on the body to smooth out extreme emotions and allow a deep sense of calm to come over the body.

Acupuncture & Massage Treatment Protocol

Treatment frequency can vary depending on how extreme or disruptive the mood swings, but generally treatments are recommended 1 time per week for more severe cases and 1-2 times per month for more milder cases.

Treatment can be given during any part of the pregnancy.

Nausea

According to About.com, it is estimated that between 50 to 80 percent of women have nausea, sometimes with vomiting, during pregnancy. Although the nausea may be most noticeable in the morning, for many women it lasts throughout the day.

There are several natural remedies, including acupuncture,  that are widely accepted as safe which are outlined in the above mentioned article. This is supported by the conclusion of 2 studies by Smith, et al, 2002, which states that acupuncture is  a safe and effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy.

Acupuncture & Massage Treatment Protocol

We recommend coming in for a series of 1 to 5 treatments—anywhere from 2 treatments per week to 1 treatment—every 2 weeks.

Pain

Pain is one of the most common complaints we hear from our pregnant patients. Pain can occur anywhere in the body but some of the more common areas for it to occur during pregnancy are back, hip, pelvic, leg, foot, neck, and shoulder. Studies supporting the use of acupuncture for pain management are prolific. In one suchstudy, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to capture pictures of the brain while patients experienced a pain stimulus with and without acupuncture. It was found that activation of the areas of the brain that are involved in pain perception were significantly reduced or modulated under acupuncture.

WebMD states that low back pain affects up to three-quarters of all pregnant women, usually during the time between their sixth and ninth months of pregnancy. The article goes on to say that according to a recent Swedish report, acupuncture may be better than traditional treatment for low back pain during pregnancy. It quotes the lead author of the study as saying, “I’m happy to say that I was wrong about acupuncture. This preliminary study showed that acupuncture can reduce low back pain and disability in just a few simple treatments.”

Another common complaint is pelvic girdle pain. Pelvic pain can be anything from a minor ache to a searing sensation that wraps around your back and can shoot down below your belly.  A study published in the British Medical Journal concluded that  Acupuncture and stabilizing exercises constitute efficient complements to standard treatment for the management of pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Acupuncture was superior to stabilizing exercises in this study.

Acupuncture & Massage Treatment Protocol

We recommend coming in for a series of 1 to 5 treatments—anywhere from 2 treatments per week to 2 treatments per month—depending on the severity of the pain.