Pregnancy is a time of great physical and emotional change, which makes it an important time to support your overall health. Regular treatment during pregnancy helps to ensure happy, healthy moms give birth to healthy babies. Treatment throughout pregnancy can also result in a more efficient labour and delivery, while continued treatment throughout the postpartum period can help ensure a quicker and easier postpartum recovery.
Acupuncture can be used during different phases of labour for a variety of reasons. Sometimes labouring women are faced with fatigue or low energy, insufficient or ineffective contractions, strong contraction sensations, slow cervical effacement and dilation, or insufficient descent of the baby into the pelvis. Acupuncture and acupressure may help move things along in order to encourage a timely vaginal birth and minimize or prevent medical interventions.
There are a number of situations in which you would want to call TAB during labour. If you feel like contractions have been coming for a significant period of time but have yet to find a regular rhythm, call TAB. If your contractions are intense very early on (you can’t talk through them & they’ve only recently begun), call TAB. If you have been experiencing contractions every 5 minutes, lasting in one minute each for at least one hour, call TAB. If your midwife/OBGYN/family MD has told you that the baby is in a posterior position, call TAB. It is always best to call while you are in early stage/latent labour and we can assess your specific situation as it progresses.
This service can begin with a consultation either on the phone or in person during your 3rd trimester up to 1 month before the baby is due to arrive. We want to get to know you and have an idea of your birth plan so we can better understand how we’ll be able to assist you during your labour. If you are a new client, it is best to contact us during your 2nd trimester to ensure availability.
Yes, acupuncture/acupressure for labour preparation may be useful even if you haven’t already been getting treatments throughout your pregnancy. Please call to see about our availability. We’ll do our best to fit you in!
Of course not. Many of our pregnancy clients are women who have been receiving acupuncture in order to help them get pregnant and they continue treatment straight through to the postpartum period and beyond.
Yes. Speak with your practitioners if there any specific concerns you may have. Scenarios such as threatened miscarriage or preeclampsia can actually be aided by acupuncture, just be sure to give your practitioner a full medical history.
Some clients experience mild side effects including drowsiness or nausea. If this occurs during treatment please advise your practitioner immediately. Advise your practitioner if you bruise easily as occasionally minor bruising may occur. Symptoms can sometimes become worse before they improve. If this occurs it should only last 1-2 days. If worsening symptoms last for more than 2 days or you have any concerns please contact your practitioner. Some common examples are increased soreness or stiffness, mild headache, increased or decreased energy levels. With acupuncture there is a possibility of minor bleeding at site of insertion.
Most clients report a feeling of general relaxation during treatment. Needle sensations may be a brief pinch, but should not be sharp and pokey. Most people describe needling sensation as a warmth or pulling or heavy sensation at the site of needle insertion. In the case of acupressure or shiatsu, treatment can be as gentle or strong as you deem comfortable.
Depending on what stage of your pregnancy you are in, it can still be safe to needle the upper and lower abdomen. Needles will always be above the fundus or top of the uterus; this means that generally speaking, after the first trimester, any needles in the abdomen will likely be above the belly button. Feel free to discuss any concerns you may have directly with your practitioner.
Depending on the goal of treatment, you might feel either increased or decreased fetal movement. E.g. If baby is in a breech position, treatment will be specifically focused on promoting fetal movement. In other situations, if the goal is to calm your pain or stress, decreased fetal movement would be expected as well. It is always recommended to continue counting the recommended number of hourly fetal movements throughout the day regardless of an acupuncture treatment or not.
No. You can book a consult with us at any time.
Of course you can ask your primary care provider for their opinion, however we do not require you to consult with them prior to beginning treatments. If there is something specific about your pregnancy that we think you should ask your primary care provider, we will let you know.
In most situations, yes, acupuncture is safe and even beneficial in a high risk pregnancy. Acupuncture is even recommended as a treatment for threatened miscarriage. Be sure to share a full medical history with your practitioner so she knows exactly what makes your pregnancy high risk.
No. We are Registered Acupuncturists and not doulas. Our services are meant to help you through specific stages of your pregnancy and labour. If you need a referral for a doula, please see our “Community Resources” page.
Treatment schedules will vary widely depending on what trimester you are in, what symptoms you are experiencing and what the goals of treatment are. Your practitioner will outline a treatment schedule that is specific to your needs.