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San Francisco Acupuncture for Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an amazing time for a woman, her partner and her family. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can ease a woman through the many physical and emotional changes that occur during each trimester of her pregnancy, and help to ensure a comfortable and healthy pregnancy.

At Blue Ova, our natural pregnancy support program is offered as a complement to conventional medical care for common issues and increased wellness during pregnancy. 

Under our method of care you are treated throughout your entire pregnancy approximately once a week. The purpose of this protocol is to help maintain your health during pregnancy and to assist in avoidance of possible complications such as fatigue, nausea, low back pain, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, gestational diabetes, breech presentation, and hyperemesis gravidarum. Further, acupuncture will continue to deliver more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to your growing baby helping to ensure a beautiful, healthy and well-developed child.

First Trimester Acupuncture

Week 0-13

This time period is often considered one of the most crucial times in pregnancy, and we highly recommend starting or continuing acupuncture as pregnancy occurs. Getting acupuncture while pregnant in your first trimester focuses on stabilizing and assisting embryo development, as well as easing other symptoms such as morning sickness and fatigue. Support is given by balancing hormone levels as well as inhibiting uterine contractions to prevent miscarriage.  A focus is placed on reducing tension and anxiousness and working to replace it with a calm mind and relaxed nervous system.  

Acupuncture during the first trimester is beneficial for:

  • Miscarriage prevention
  • Keeping progesterone levels high
  • Morning sickness, nausea, and vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia  
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Common cold, flu, and infections 
  • Constipation
  • Digestive irregularities 

Because of the attentive care required in this trimester, acupuncture during the first trimester is recommended weekly, depending on your symptoms and general health.

Second Trimester Acupuncture

 Week 14-27

During the second trimester many changes take place in the mother’s body. Acupuncture during this trimester is important for regulating the digestive and nervous systems, as well as the endocrine system, all of which are necessary to maintain a healthy, full-term pregnancy.

Acupuncture during the second trimester is beneficial for:

  • Sciatica, pelvic, back, and rib pain
  • Ligament pain 
  • Leg Cramps
  • Heartburn and indigestion 
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Urinary tract, bladder, and kidney infections 
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Varicose veins
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness and Shortness of breath
  • Pre-term labor

Acupuncture during the second trimester is recommended 2-4 times a month, depending on your symptoms and general health.

Third Trimester Acupuncture

Week 28-40

Acupuncture during your third trimester is used to regulate the musculoskeletal system to provide relief from sciatica, backache, pubic and joint pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Continued support is provided for the endocrine system to address such symptoms as elevated blood pressure and edema

Treatment during the third trimester also encourages the proper positioning of the baby for birth and helps normalize and optimize labor.  Around week 34-36, we begin pre-birth acupuncture to prepare the body for healthy labor and delivery. 

Acupuncture during the third trimester is beneficial for:

Acupuncture during the third trimester is recommended weekly, depending on your symptoms and general health.

San Francisco Breech Presentation

Starting as early as wekk 28

If your baby is in breech position and has not yet turned head-down by 28 weeks, acupuncture and moxibustion treatment have a high success rate in helping turn the baby. It is one of the most tested techniques in Chinese medicine and has a turn success rate of between 76% and 85% in successive clinical trials. The technique is most effective between the 28th and 34th week, up through the 35th week of pregnancy. Babies can turn at any time, however it occurs less often passed 34 weeks as the baby grows leaving it with less space.

For centuries Chinese Medicine has been addressing breech presentation with a technique called moxabustion. Moxabustion is used to heat certain acupuncture points which influence the mother’s hormones and result in increased fetal movement that encourage the baby to move in to an optimal head down birthing position.

Treatment for breech presentation is recommended in a series of 4 sessions, depending on turn response from baby.

San Francisco Pre-Birth Acupuncture

Weeks 36-40

Pre-birth Acupuncture can reduce the length of labor, prevent overdue births, and accelerate cervical ripening and dilation. 

These treatments can reduce the need for medical inductions, pain medication and epidurals, and emergency c-sections, and increases the likelihood of a normal vaginal birth. Studies have shown pre-birth acupuncture to reduce the need for induction by 35% (43% in first time mothers), reduce the need for epidural by 31%, and reduce emergency cesarian deliveries by 32%. 

We tailor treatments specific to a woman's pregnancy history, constitution and current symptoms. The focus of pre-birth acupuncture treatments is to:

  • ripen the cervix and assist effacement
  • enhance overall energy and stamina necessary for a healthy labor
  • assist the baby in being in the best position for labor

For planned C-sections, acupuncture before surgery can help you heal faster after your baby is born.

Pre-birth acupuncture is recommended weekly, depending on your symptoms and general health, from week 36 until baby is born.

San Francisco Acupuncture Labor Induction Support

Week ~40+

Acupuncture has been used very successfully for thousands of years to support in inducing women who are over-due in their pregnancy. Acupuncture works by stimulating the mother’s body to ready itself for labor.  Needling will encourage the body to naturally release prostaglandins to soften and ripen the cervix for labor, and oxytocin to trigger contractions. Because the body produces its own hormones, and the process in natural, the mother and child will experience a gradual, less-traumatic onset of labor. While these points are avoided throughout most of the pregnancy, they work wonderfully for signaling the body to go into labor at full term. 

Gently needling these specific points on the body can help to reduce the length of labor, prevent overdue births, and accelerate cervical ripening and dilation. Most women who have reached full gestation will need only one to four treatments before labor occurs. According to studies, induction acupuncture is 70-88% effective. Labor typically begins between six and forty-eight hours after a treatment.

Women who have already been receiving pre-birth acupuncture in the third trimester respond more quickly to natural induction support treatments, and often do not even need to receive labor induction support.

Acupuncture for labor induction is recommended in a series of 4 treatments scheduled once a woman is full term or 40 weeks.