Pregnancy and Acupuncture- How Can it Help?


Information from a Limerick Acupuncturist-   Guest Post

This week's guest blog post is written by Louise Ryan, Acupuncturist and owner of Cherryblossom Acupuncture located in Castletroy.  I had the pleasure of meeting Louise several weeks ago.  I shared with her my own history of seeking acupuncture treatments during pregnancy and she also told me about all the other ways acupuncture can be helpful for those less-than-pleasant pregnancy symptoms.  

         So, you’re finally pregnant! What a joyous time, but what happens when you are one of the women who have difficulties during pregnancy? Your normal over the counter medications are off limits, so what do you do? Well, thankfully, acupuncture can help in many of the conditions of pregnancy.

In the early stages, I often work with women, who are suffering from morning sickness (which is very rarely confined just to mornings!), and it can make a big difference to those early weeks, or we can even have success with hyperemesis. Regular acupuncture treatments can also help with the chronic tiredness common in early pregnancy, and I often work with women who have a history of miscarriage, using acupuncture to help to secure the pregnancy in those vital early weeks.

Lots of women come because they are suffering from sinus pain and congestion, which can get worse in pregnancy, and of course, it’s harder to use any medications to treat it, but regular acupuncture can help keep you breathing freely and congestion free.

In the later stages, as the baby grows, many women come to me with back pain, hip pain, pelvic pain, or worse still, symphysis pubis pain. I love treating this with acupuncture, as many times, women can get up off my table pain free, it being the first time they’ve been pain free in weeks!

Also very popular with my clients is pre-birth acupuncture. Pre-birth acupuncture is when a woman is treated in the final weeks of pregnancy at about week 36/37 right up to the end.  It’s physical action is to help ripen the women’s cervix, prepare the pelvis, thus encouraging her body to move into the optimum state for delivering her baby. It helps baby move into an anterior position whilst boosting the woman’s energy and mental and physical stamina. It can also help with any other issue she may be experiencing, whether it be physical or emotional from back pain to carpal tunnel, heartburn, hypertension, insomnia or even a growing sense of anxiety at the task ahead.

Research suggests that by having weekly sessions it can reduce the incidence of medical
interventions, such as induction, C- section and even the need to have episiotomies.

Data on 169 women was gathered by 14 midwives as part of their midwifery practice in New Zealand. It found that when comparing all caregivers (midwives, general practitioners, and specialists) to those women who received pre-birth acupuncture there was:

  • An overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions (for women having their 1st baby there was a 43% reduction)
  • A 31% reduction in the epidural rate
  • 32% reduction in cesarean delivery
  • 9% increase in vaginal birth

This data alone suggests that pre-birth acupuncture gives every pregnant woman a chance to reduce the need for medical intervention and a better chance of experiencing a desirable and more efficient labour.

If you would like help to sail through your pregnancy, feel free to contact Louise at Cherryblossom Acupuncture, upstairs at Castletroy Shopping Centre.  Tel: 087-6357041,