As an acupuncturist, I knew how effective acupuncture and Chinese herbs could be at alleviating the discomforts of pregnancy. Now that I have experience as both the clinician and the patient, I thought that I would share some of my experiences and the results that I got from treatment. Everybody is different, and this is just a description of my own experience on the receiving end of the treatment for my individual set of symptoms.
At the beginning of my pregnancy the fatigue was debilitating. I had never felt anything like it before, it was as if someone had turned up the gravity. Every move I made was harder. This aspect of my pregnancy responded really well to acupuncture and Chinese Herbs. The herbs gave me something I could do on a daily basis to boost my energy level safely.
Nausea was something I thought I understood, having come to acupuncture in the first place as a result of constant nausea and abdominal pain. Two months into my pregnancy, my definition of nausea changed. It wasn’t just after I ate, as I had experienced before, and it wasn’t just in the morning. It was constant. After a treatment my symptoms were very minimal, and I could go a good 3-5 days without feeling sick. When I did feel sick it was manageable and passed quckly.
Unfortunately the ankle swelling only cleared up for a very short time even with regular acupuncture treatments and herbs. I was pregnant through the summer and worked on my feet until two weeks before my due date, which certainly didn’t help the situation. If you are pregnant and your ankles are huge, don’t get discouraged. Different people can get different results for the same condition. I will say that acupuncture was really helpful after I gave birth to my son and my feet were achy and sore.
When I was good about getting acupuncture (and I wasn’t always) I hardly noticed the heartburn at all.
Stress and Anxiety
I was so excited about becoming a mom, but was also nervous about the new experience and about childbirth itself. Couple that with a lack of sleep and you’ve got one tightly wound pregnant lady. The stress relief that I got from acupuncture was partially from getting off my feet for an hour to get treated, but with that aside you wouldn’t believe how relaxing a few little needles could be whether you’re pregnant or not. Almost every time I made myself pause and get treated I was not disappointed.
Clearly I’m biased, since acupuncture made enough of an impact on me at an earlier point in my life for me to choose it as a career. I can say, though, that although pregnancy was a physically uncomfortable experience I got through it feeling stronger and more composed than I would have otherwise.