Helps nausea? Check.
Helps back pain? Helps stress? Check.
Helps get you knocked up in the first place? Check. Check. Check.
A huge fan of acupuncture, I have been getting treatment in various forms for over a decade. A friend treated me to my first session to treat stress and back pain. The relaxation was so intense, so much more beneficial than 3 glasses of Pinot Noir, that it heralded in a serious obsession with getting pricked. When I had trouble getting pregnant with my second child, I declined the offers to high wattage fertility doctors and, instead, turned to the integrative health specialists in Chicago’s Northwestern Hospital. Three months later, Success! I continued treatment throughout the pregnancy and alleviated many of the symptoms I had suffered from the first time around.
To get the lowdown on how acupuncture can help pregnant women, I turned to my favorite practitioner Jennifer Paschen of THE NEST in Chicago to explain the benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy. Paschen, who treats women during pregnancy and attends (and administers acupuncture) births, has this to say about the importance of acupuncture in pregnancy:
“We treat women where they are in their quest for optimal health and balance. Acupuncture can make a huge difference in a woman’s pregnancy. We formulate individualized treatment plans for fertility, pregnancy wellness, general women’s health, and postpartum recovery. That is why acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is so effective– we are not just treating a symptom, we are treating the whole person. You really have to consider the internal landscape of each patient.” On the fertility front, Paschen explains that, through a detailed diagnosis method, Chinese Medicine practitioners are able to identify and understand where weakness and imbalance lie in the body. Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and dietary recommendations help strengthen energy and blood, which positively effects fertility.
Here is Paschen’s hit list on how acupuncture can help your pregnancy
1. Alleviates digestive complaints: morning sickness, heartburn, constipation and gas
2. Relieves pain: back pain, sciatica, headaches, carpal tunnel
3. Promotes circulation: decreases swollen ankles, feet and hands (aka edema)
5. Prepares the body for birth: promotes cervical ripening, helps with optimal positioning of baby, increases motility of pelvis and sacrum, and moderates high blood pressure
Jennifer Paschen, L.Ac., Owner of The Nest