Acupuncture for Your First Trimester
Weeks 1-12: Your baby grows from the size of a sesame seed to the size of a cherry.
Congratulations on your new pregnancy! This is a wonderful new beginning in your life. Yet we also know between the doctor’s visits and the changes in your body, this delicate time can have some unexpected stress. You probably have so many questions.
No more late night internet searches to find out if constipation is a normal symptom (it is). You can relax knowing that trusted and experienced healthcare practitioners are on your side. Having your body feel more comfortable will be invaluable to growing your healthy baby.
As your little embryo matures during this stage, acupuncture can help reduce many of the unpleasant symptoms many women face; morning sickness (or ‘all day sickness’ as some might have), the inability to eat due to food aversions, heartburn, dizziness, painful or swollen breasts, hormonal ups and downs, increased urination, and can give you more energy to combat that extreme exhaustion of creating a new life.
Acupuncture is also especially beneficial if you have been spotting, or have previously had a miscarriage, weekly acupuncture treatments are recommended during this precious time. Take advantage of this time to take care of yourself and your baby. Think of it as your first “mommy and me” outing, one that will strengthen your bond even before your baby is born.
Acupuncture for Your Second Trimester
Weeks 12-24: Your baby grows from the size of a pea pod to an ear of corn. Your uterus has grown to the size of a soccer ball!
Welcome to the second trimester. Your baby will start feeling more like a baby as you feel it move for the first time. You may even notice their personality as they dance to your latest playlist or kick when they hear your voice. Most women begin to feel more energized and less foggy at this point, but don’t be alarmed if you’re still experiencing some unwanted symptoms.
Acupuncture is used during this time to provide relief to some of the common 2nd trimester symptoms; feeling tired, nauseous, stuffy or runny nose, swollen feet or hands, leg cramps, back pain, round ligament pains, bleeding gums, gestational diabetes, and even high blood pressure. Or maybe you are noticing particular changes or emotions that are unique to you. Acupuncture can be an invaluable resource for many women during this time, and you can always feel free to share your honest concerns during a treatment.
At this stage, treatments can be reduced from once a week to once a month depending on your individual symptoms, but many women find comfort in being able to take a rest and talk to their healthcare practitioner on a weekly basis.
Acupuncture for Your Third Trimester
Weeks 24-37: Your baby grows from the size of an acorn squash to the size of your actual baby!
You’re almost there! You’ve been doing great so far, and it’s all only just beginning. Remember, all of this is just practice until your little bundle of joy arrives and you become a parent for the first (or second or more) time. You can really start to think, plan, and nest for the person you’re about to meet.
Your baby will be doing baby things now, turning on their side, sucking their thumb, and practicing breathing. He or she might also be getting a little cramped inside your uterus. Prepare to feel at least a little uncomfortable at this point. Swollen feet, back pain, sciatica, leg cramps, waking frequently at night, and the return of frequent urination are all common. You may even begin to feel Braxton-Hicks contractions or tightening sensations around your abdomen during this time. This is an especially important time to remember to stay hydrated and weekly acupuncture treatments are advised!
34-35 weeks is the best time to begin preparing your body for labor. Our labor preparation program is designed to begin the process of softening the cervix, preparing your body to prevent tearing, and generally encouraging your body to have a healthy and smooth labor. In a recent study, women who had weekly acupuncture treatments for 4 consecutive weeks before delivery experienced shorter labor times (on average 2 hours less) than women who did not receive acupuncture.
Remember that once the baby is born you won’t have much time for rest, so do what you can now to stay strong and healthy. This will greatly reduce your recovery time. And recovery is important! See our postpartum page for more information on how to give you and your baby the best start in life.