It seems these days the idea of East meets West has entered our culture to everything from fitness to medicine. People are looking for a more balanced way of life by incorporating Eastern philosophies with the traditional, busy life of the West. Yoga studios are filled with enthusiasts looking for that mind-body experience. People are now looking to alternative treatments, like acupuncture, as a compliment to their traditional medical care. Pregnant women are turning to such alternative treatments as a compliment to their normal prenatal care. Those looking for a natural and intervention free pregnancy, labor and delivery are turning to acupuncture as a means to achieve just that. Many women, including myself, swear that the acupuncture they received in pregnancy benefited both themselves and their babies.
My first pregnancy was plagued with issues that ultimately forced me to take a doctor ordered early maternity leave. Severe morning sickness, a threatened miscarriage, gestational diabetes, early signs of labor and PUPPS put me in the high risk category. The labor and delivery was also trying. In the end I ended up with interventions that I initially did not want and an assisted delivery. My daughter came out bruised and battered from the assisted delivery. She wouldn’t nurse and needed assistance taking her first breaths. In the weeks following her birth, she still would not feed properly and had severe reflux. These kinds of complications can happen to almost anyone. Although, I know, the many complications I had over the course of my pregnancy played a large role in why things ended the way they did.
When I became pregnant with my second child, I decided that I needed to find an alternative treatment that would compliment my traditional prenatal care. My hope was that by adding a treatment such as acupuncture to my prenatal care I could perhaps avoid having as many complications as I had had with my previous pregnancy. I also hoped that by adding it to my weekly routine I would be able to achieve the natural birthing experience that I was hoping for. I had already been receiving acupuncture for chronic pain before I got pregnant. Once I conceived, it seemed only natural to continue my treatments to include prenatal care. As the pregnancy progressed, it was clear that it was having a positive affect on both me and the baby.
During the course of my pregnancy I was less sick and had virtually no complications. I gained more weight than I had in my first pregnancy and the baby showed signs of better growth in utero. The overall pregnancy experience was much better and I found myself feeling calmer and more at ease about the upcoming birth. I continued my treatments weekly until my 37th week when I went into labor on my own. When the time came, I was able to have a natural delivery with no interventions or assistance. My baby immediately nursed and was breathing well on her own. I can personally say that, the acupuncture was a large part of my positive pregnancy, labor and delivery experience. Acupuncture may not be for everyone. It takes making a commitment to yourself and the costs can be high. However, I highly recommend it as compliment to regular prenatal care. Under the hands of a properly trained practitioner, the benefits are worth every penny!