Acupuncture and the Journey to Motherhood

When it comes to the “journey of motherhood”, balancing yin and the yang becomes even more important. No matter what issues and history you may have — painful, irregular, absent or heavy menstrual cycle; PCOS — or if you want to increase your chances of conceiving, and/or keep yourself and baby healthy through pregnancy, labor and delivery — acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help tremendously.

Many of the acupuncture points used for the above issues are the same or used in different combinations depending upon our Chinese diagnosis and the desired outcome. Each acupuncture point has its action and effects, but when 2 or more are combined, they can have additional actions and effects as well. Points will usually change according to what day of your cycle you are on when you come in for a treatment.

Regular weekly acupuncture treatments can regulate, jumpstart or even stop your menstrual cycles. This process can take up to 3 monthly cycles or more, depending on a number of different factors such as your age and your menstrual history. The needles serve to increase blood and fluid flow in the body, breaking up any energetic “blockages” or nourishing any areas that are lacking blood and fluids. Of course, this also alleviates any PMS symptoms as well.

Though we may talk with patients about these various western “conditions” or symptoms, we don’t look at them in the same way as your western doctor. Remember, we are considering  the “whole” picture of who you are — mind, body and spirit. We always remind you — your body is malfunctioning and that this didn’t happen overnight — it took some time for the symptoms and effects to manifest and it will take time to set everything back on course.

Ideally, a normal menstrual cycle is 28-30 days with a 4-5 day medium flow of red blood that is not too dark and not too light, and devoid of clots. This is what we strive to help your body come back to — this is “balanced” in the Chinese way of looking at menses.  It’s necessary to get as close to these parameters as possible when trying to get pregnant.  The more “routine” and regular your cycle is, the easier it will be to help you facilitate conception, whether naturally or through IUI or IVF.

Once you are pregnant, regular acupuncture treatments for “mom and baby wellness” can help you stay on track and feeling good throughout your 39 weeks.  They can also help to condition your body, preparing you for the “marathon” of labor and delivery.

And one last note regarding pregnancy: remember the 4th trimester! Just because the baby has been delivered and is physically outside of you, doesn’t mean that the work is over!  It’s just changed gears, so to speak. Acupuncture is very helpful for keeping hormones regulated as they return to pre-conception levels and decreasing any feelings of depression. And now Mom has her baby who needs her for breast milk. Acupuncture can increase, decrease or stop lactation, depending on what you and baby are needing.