Acupuncture Before, During and After Pregnancy

By Kristina Polzin, L.Ac.

As a strong believer in the body’s innate ability to heal itself, I love acupuncture. This treatment is drug-free and helps the body correct issues from the inside out. That makes it a great option for both moms and moms-to-be. To help you decide if acupuncture is right for you, here are some quick facts on how it works and what it can be used to treat before, during and after pregnancy.

 

Helping the body heal itself

When done properly by a licensed professional, acupuncture has very few risks. This treatment stimulates the central nervous system and causes chemicals to be released into the muscles, spinal cord and brain. These biochemical changes stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities, without any additional medications.

Many are also surprised to find that acupuncture doesn’t hurt at all. The needles are very thin – only about the width of a single strand of hair. For my patients, I like to make it a quiet time to reconnect with their body. I dim the lights and use calming music to create a relaxing atmosphere. A lot of people even fall asleep!

 

Before: addressing infertility

Acupuncture has been used to treat menstrual and reproduction disorders for the past 2,000 years. When you are preparing to start a family, acupuncture can help by regulating your cycle, increasing blood flow and balancing hormones. It can also be used to complement modern fertility treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Infertility issues that can be addressed include:

  • Male and female infertility
  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Fibroids and polyps
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Endometriosis

 

During: easing pregnancy discomforts

Throughout pregnancy, your body is going through many changes – both inside and out! Acupuncture can help manage these symptoms and provide great relief.

  • Pregnancy symptoms that can be addressed include:
  • Morning sickness and vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Skin issues
  • Edema
  • Preparation for labor and delivery

 

After: adjusting to motherhood

Childbirth is a major undertaking for a woman’s body. That’s why self-care is so important afterwards. Acupuncture can help with the healing and recovery process, mental health, energy levels and lactation support.

Acupuncture is available at St. Luke’s, and no referral is required. If you have any additional questions or want to schedule an appointment, call St. Luke’s Interventional Pain Management, 218.249.7860

St. Luke’s Birthing Center is located in Duluth, MN, with St. Luke’s clinics in the surrounding region, including Superior, WI. To schedule a tour of St. Luke’s Birthing Center, call 218.249.5605.