Acupuncture for Pregnancy

Photo Credit: Rui Vale de Sousa,

Acupuncture Benefits During Pregnancy
While many people have heard that acupuncture can help a woman achieve pregnancy they may not be aware that receiving acupuncture for pregnancy pain has many benefits!  
Stress Relief
Stress during pregnancy has been strongly linked to preterm delivery.  Many mothers are very anxious about the health of their baby in the womb and are unable to relax.  When they are in a state of constant stress the body pumps out the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, our “fight or flight hormones.”  These hormones can weaken immunity, disrupt sleep, cause digestive issues and even cause the heart to beat excessively.
Nausea, morning sickness, constipation and heartburn
Morning Sickness is common in the first trimester of pregnancy although some mothers will have it for longer.  Receiving acupuncture treatments can help soothe the digestive system and encourage regular bowel movements.  Acupuncture and herbal therapy can be helpful in providing relief from heartburn as well. Heartburn usually tends to creep up during the middle to end of a women’s pregnancy and can be very uncomfortable.  
Pain and discomfort
Back pain, leg cramping, varicose veins, neck tension and hemorrhoids are common ailments that occur during pregnancy.  Acupuncture is a great way to resolve these problems so that you don’t have to take medications that may harm you and your baby.
Pre- and post-partum depression
There are many hormonal changes that come with pregnancy and they can be hard for women to manage on their own.  It’s estimated that up to 14% of pregnant women have a major depressive episode at some point during or after their pregnancy.  While antidepressants are commonly prescribed to people suffering from depression, there’s no definitive evidence on whether the medications are safe for pregnant women and fetuses.  Regular exercise and acupuncture treatments have been shown to significantly reduce anxiety and depression.
Breech presentation
Many babies are in a breech position, where the baby’s head is facing upwards instead of down, in the last 3 months of pregnancy. This can result in a mother being forced to have a cesarean section.  If you are in your last trimester with a breech presentation, acupuncture can encourage the baby to turn. 
Induce labor and smooth the labor process
There are times when it’s necessary to induce labor, either for the health of the mother or the baby.   Many women now seek out acupuncture to help induce labor or to move the labor process along, as an alternative to pharmaceutical methods.  
These are just a few of the many benefits acupuncture can offer a pregnant woman.  Please contact our clinic for more information and to schedule a complimentary consultation.
About the Author:
Kelly Kirles, L.Ac Aligned Modern Health Lincoln Square

Kelly Kirles, L.Ac Aligned Modern Health Lincoln Square

Kelly Kirles, L.Ac is a licensed Acupuncturist at Aligned Modern Health Lincoln Square. Kelly first discovered acupuncture when she was 16 years old and fell in love with it right away. She relies on Acupuncture to heal her own hip and knee pains, and she is passionate about helping others find relief through acupuncture. In addition to pain relief, Kelly has extensive experience treating women’s health issues including menopausal symptoms, hormonal imbalances, and fertility complications. She also has experience treating mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and stress, and partnering with medical doctors to help wean patients off medications that produce excessive side effects. 
Prior to joining the Aligned Modern Health team, Kelly practiced Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in Northwest Indiana and in Ketchikan Alaska. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology from Michigan State University and her Masters in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego. She is nationally board certified by the NCCAOM. Kelly enjoys making fitness an integral part of her life whether it’s taking a Pilates or yoga class, going for a run with her 5 year old Labrador retriever, or chasing after her toddler son!