Hello, beautiful souls! As a fertility/pregnancy acupuncturist here in Melbourne, I’ve had the incredible privilege of witnessing the profound impact acupuncture can have during the third trimester of pregnancy. This stage is like the grand finale before the big birthing show – a time of immense change, both physically and emotionally. Let’s talk about how acupuncture becomes this magical, holistic support system that not only guides expectant mothers through the final stretch but also turns the birthing experience into something positively extraordinary.
Navigating the Breech Dilemma:
Around weeks 33-34, we play the pivotal game of figuring out baby’s position. When things go breech or transverse, that’s when acupuncture and moxibustion take center stage.
Picture this: a little bit of mugwort herb gently encouraging the baby to do a 180 and get into the head-down position. Studies have shown that this combo, recommended by the birthing experts, has promising success rates. In fact, a Cochrane Library research piece spilled the tea on moxibustion, revealing its potential to turn breech babies.
The outcome? Reduced breech presentations at birth. A win-win that potentially dodges more invasive interventions.
Getting Ready for Labor’s Grand Entrance:
As you hit weeks 36-37, acupuncture treatments become a pregnant person’s best friend. It’s like giving your body a pep talk for the big day. These sessions aren’t just about getting the baby in prime position; they’re about triggering that natural oxytocin release and addressing any pregnancy discomforts like lower back pain or anxiety. Research is totally on board with this, showing us that this approach leads to reduced interventions and improved cervical maturity. It’s like giving your body a VIP pass to the birthing party.
The Countdown to Labor: Induction or Preparation?
As we inch closer to week 39 and beyond, acupuncture takes on a whole new role. If the body’s all prepped and ready, it can gently nudge labor along. We’re not talking about forcing things – it’s more like giving nature a little high-five when everything’s just right. And if conditions aren’t quite there yet, acupuncture’s got your back. It refocuses on positioning, cervical readiness, and oxytocin production, prepping the body for labor or easing the way into medical induction.
The Dance of Labor: Pain Relief and Contractions on Cue:
When labor finally kicks in, acupuncture waltzes onto the scene offering fantastic pain relief and boosting those contractions. While it’s not exactly the star of the show in Melbourne hospitals, acupressure techniques come in as the trusty sidekick. In my world as a fertility and perinatal care acupuncturist, I guide expectant parents in unleashing the power of acupressure points for pain management and labor support.
A Symphony of Birthing Support:
Acupuncture in the third trimester isn’t just about kickstarting contractions; it’s a whole symphony of support. We’re talking optimal positioning, cervical readiness, and a natural flow for the birthing process.
The stories of subtle shifts and profound transformations witnessed in pregnant patients undergoing acupuncture are a testament to the ancient wisdom packed into those tiny needles. Embracing acupuncture during the third trimester isn’t just about getting ready for labor; it’s about creating a birthing experience that’s nurturing, empowering, and uniquely yours.
Questions about pregnancy acupuncture? Curious to dive deeper? Reach out, and let’s chat. Whether you’re in Coburg or Ringwood, at Almond Wellness Centre, we’re here to support you on this beautiful journey.
Here’s to the magic of acupuncture and the extraordinary journey ahead!
Acupuncture and acupressure are both alternative therapies rooted in traditional Chinese medicine. They both stimulate specific points on the body to promote healing and relieve various symptoms. While acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points, acupressure involves applying pressure to these points with the fingers, thumbs, or other devices. When acupuncture is not available, acupressure is an alternative and convenient way to help nausea and sickness. This technique is often used for motion sickness, morning sickness during pregnancy, and nausea associated with chemotherapy.
In the context of nausea and sickness, there are specific acupressure points that are commonly targeted. Listed here are 5 best acupuncture /acupressure points for nausea and sickness.
1. ST36 (Stomach 36) or Zu San Li 足三里:
Zu San Li ST36
Location: Situated on the front of the leg, just below the knee and slightly towards the outside.
Function: This point is used for various digestive issues, such as stomach pain, cramping, nausea sickness and vomiting.
Technique: Locate the point by finding the muscle about 1cm lateral to the shin bone. Press the point and rub cross the muscle fibre, until you feel pressure aching sensation of the muscle. Keep the pressure and rub for about 5 minutes. Repeat 2~3 times if nausea /sickness is not relieve.
2. PC6 (Pericardium 6) or Nei Guan 内关:
Nei Guan PC6
Location: This point is located on the inner forearm, about two to three finger widths below the wrist crease, between the two tendons.
Function: Traditionally this point is used for all symptoms related to Heart, Chest and Stomach, such as stomach pain, nausea, chest tightness and palpitation.
Technique: Applying pressure to this point until you feel pressure aching sensation, for about 3~5 minutes. Repeat 2~3 times if nausea /sickness is not relieve.
3. LU10 (Lung 10) or Yu Ji 鱼际:
Yu Ji LU10
Location: This point is located in the middle of greater thenar eminence on the palm side of thumb.
Function: Traditionally this point is used for heat in the lung and digestive issues including nausea and abdominal pain, particularly in children. (it is also called “板门 Ban Men” – the “Wooden Gate” in Chinese infantile Tuina massage)
Technique: Applying pressure to this point until you feel pressure or aching sensation, for about 3~5 minutes. Repeat 2~3 times if nausea /sickness is not relieved.
4. LI4 (Large Intestine 4) or He Gu 合谷:
He Gu LI4
Location: Found on the back of the hand, in the webbing between the thumb and index finger.
Function: traditionally this point is thought to help with various ailments, such as headache, stress, nausea and stomach pain.
Technique: Locate the point in the middle of the 2nd metacarpal bone, find the muscle next to the bone and apply pressure across the muscle. Keep the pressure and rub for about 3~5 minutes. Repeat 2~3 times if nausea /sickness is not relieved.
5. CV12 (Conception Vessel 12) or Zhong Wan 中脘:
Zhong Wan CV12
Location: Located on the midline of the abdomen, about halfway between the navel and the lower edge of the breastbone,
Function: This point is believed to aid in digestion and alleviate nausea.
Technique: Using thumb or middle finger, applying pressure and rub in a circle motion for 5 minutes. Repeat 2~3 times if nausea /sickness is not relieved.
Note on Effectiveness
It’s important to note that while many people find relief from symptoms through acupuncture and acupressure, scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness can be mixed. Some studies suggest that these techniques may have a positive impact on certain conditions, while others may not find significant benefits.
If you’re considering trying acupuncture or acupressure for nausea or any other health issue, it’s advisable to consult with qualified practitioners from renowned practice like Almond Wellness Centre. They can provide guidance based on your individual health needs and ensure that these complementary therapies are used in conjunction with, not as a substitute for conventional medical care.
Breech presentation, where the baby is in a bottom-down position, is a common occurrence during the second trimester of pregnancy. While most babies naturally turn to a head-down position before labor, some do not, which can lead to difficulties during birth and increase the likelihood of a caesarean section delivery. In a recent study published in the Cochrane Library, researchers explored the potential of moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medicine technique, in helping to turn breech babies.
Moxibustion For Breech Babies
Moxibustion involves burning a herb called Artemesia spp. near an acupuncture point on the little toe, creating a warming sensation and stimulating the uterus. This technique can be administered by the mother herself or by a trained family member or friend. The aim is to encourage the baby to shift into a head-down position before birth.
Method and Result
The study sought to determine the effectiveness of moxibustion as a self-administered treatment for turning breech babies. Researchers examined 13 studies involving 2,181 women and their babies, with seven new trials included in the analysis. The evidence gathered was classified as low to moderate certainty.
The findings revealed that moxibustion, when used in conjunction with usual care or sham moxibustion, was likely to reduce the number of breech babies at birth compared to standard care alone. However, there was limited data available regarding the impact of moxibustion on the need for external cephalic version (a procedure to manually turn the baby). Additionally, moxibustion did not significantly reduce the number of caesarean section deliveries, regardless of whether compared to usual care alone or sham acupuncture plus usual care.
The study also indicated that moxibustion treatment probably reduced the use of oxytocin, a hormone used to induce or strengthen contractions during labor. However, there was limited evidence regarding the effect of moxibustion on the timing of membrane rupture and the acidity of umbilical cord blood.
While side effects were reported in one study, including increased fetal movements, uterine contractions, nausea, headache, and burns from improper use of moxibustion, further research is needed to determine the risks and potential adverse effects associated with moxibustion.
In conclusion, the study provides moderate-certainty evidence that moxibustion, when combined with usual care, is likely to reduce the likelihood of non-cephalic presentation (breech position) at birth. However, its impact on the need for external cephalic version remains uncertain. Moxibustion treatment appears to have a minimal effect on the rate of caesarean section deliveries, and further investigation is required to understand its influence on other factors such as premature rupture of membranes and umbilical cord blood acidity levels.
It is important to note that adverse events were not adequately reported in most of the trials, highlighting the need for additional research in this area.
Almond Wellness Centre Melbourne
In light of these findings, Almond Wellness Centre, the premier acupuncture Chinese medicine clinic in Fertility Pregnancy acupuncture Melbourne, places a strong emphasis on integrating of acupuncture and Chinese medicine with infertility treatments. With over two decades of experience, the centre offers acupuncture treatment for pregnancy patients. The clinic director of Almond Wellness Centre Melbourne, Dr. Richard Zeng, expressed pride in their ongoing commitment to integrating acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine in helping pregnancy related symptoms.
Taking Care of Yourself After Baby: Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Can Help!
Hey new moms, after giving birth, your body and mind need some extra TLC.
We get it – That’s where Chinese medicine and acupuncture come in, offering a helping hand during the postpartum period. Let’s break down how these ancient practices can make a difference:
Bouncing Back Physically
Chinese herbs and acupuncture aren’t just for pain relief; they’re your buddies in the physical recovery game. They help manage those post-birth aches, reduce inflammation, and get your body back on track. Imagine them as your postpartum superheroes!
Hormones after childbirth can play tricks on your mood. Enter Chinese herbs and acupuncture, swooping in to balance those hormones, kick stress and anxiety to the curb, and give your emotional well-being a boost. It’s like a mood makeover!
Got questions about breastfeeding? Chinese herbs and acupuncture might have the answers. They can lend a hand in boosting milk supply and making breastfeeding a success. No wonder studies show that acupuncture can up the milk game!
Recharging Your Batteries
Postpartum life is a real energy-drainer. But fear not, because Chinese herbs and acupuncture are here to recharge your batteries. They tackle fatigue, support your body’s natural healing, and help you regain that post-baby pep.
Meet Almond Wellness Centre
At our acupuncture clinics in Melbourne, we’re all about tailor-made care. Whether it’s suggesting herbal goodness or crafting acupuncture treatments, we’ve got your back. Plus, we’re not just about needles – we’ll throw in some diet tips and lifestyle advice to make sure you’re on the path to a healthy postpartum recovery.
Still wondering if acupuncture and Chinese medicine are your postpartum pals? Everyone’s different, and we get it.
Ming Ho, 1 Tsai-Chung Li, 2 and Shan-Yu Su 3. The Association between Traditional Chinese Dietary and Herbal Therapies and Uterine Involution in Postpartum Women. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;
Wei Li, 1 , 2 Ping Yin, 1 Lixing Lao,corresponding author 3 , 4 and Shifen Xu. Effectiveness of Acupuncture Used for the Management of Postpartum Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Biomed Res Int. 2019; 2019: 6597503.
Shuaishuai Wang etc. Efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine Zengru Gao to promote breastfeeding: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018
Is maternal caffeine intake associated with neonatal anthropometry?
In this cohort study of 2055 women from 12 clinical sites, measures of caffeine consumption (plasma caffeine and paraxanthine and self-reported consumption) were associated with neonatal size at birth.
Increasing caffeine measures were significantly associated with lower birth weight, shorter length, and smaller head, arm, and thigh circumference.
A study has found that caffeine consumption during pregnancy, even in amounts less than the recommended 200 mg per day, is linked to smaller neonatal anthropometric measurements.
The longitudinal cohort study in JAMA Network Open concluded that compared to women who drank no, or very little caffeine, women who drank the most caffeine (a plasma caffeine level of ≤ 28 ng/mL) had neonates who weighed 84 g less, were 0.44 cm shorter in length, a 0.28 cm smaller head circumference, a 0.25 cm smaller arm circumference, and a 0.29 cm smaller thigh circumference.
“Most of the research on caffeine and neonatal size at birth focuses on birthweight and length, while relying on self-reported measures of caffeine consumption.,” said senior author Katherine Grantz, MD, an investigator in the Epidemiology Branch, Division of Intramural Population Health Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland.
The current study analyzed data from the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies–Singletons, which enrolled 2,055 nonsmoking women at low risk for fetal growth abnormalities with complete information on caffeine consumption from 12 U.S. clinical sites between 2009 and 2013.
“In the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies, we have rich data on multiple measures of neonatal anthropometry to more specifically characterize neonatal size, as well as objective measures of plasma concentrations of caffeine and its primary metabolite, paraxanthine,” Grantz told Contemporary OB/GYN.
The two main sources of caffeine were coffee and soda, which accounted for 35% and 41% of caffeine intake, respectively.
Caffeine was evaluated by both plasma concentrations of caffeine and paraxanthine and self-reported caffeinated beverage consumption measured/reported at 10 to 13 weeks gestation.
Caffeine metabolism was defined as fast or slow, based on genotype information from the single nucleotide variant rs762551.
“Prior caffeine studies have observed lower birthweight after consumption of higher amounts of caffeine — usually 200 to 300 mg, or 2 to 3 cups of coffee, daily,” said Grantz, who served as a co-principal investigator of the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies.
Before starting their analyses, the current authors knew that the average consumption in the sample was much lower, about 35 mg/day, and only 16 women reported drinking more than 200 mg/day.
Because of this low consumption, we were uncertain we would see any significant results, so it was surprising that we still found that increasing caffeine consumption, even at low levels, was associated with some smaller anthropometric measures in the offspring,” Grantz said. “Also, the finding that the decreases in birthweight were manifested by decreases in bone and muscle measures, but not skin folds and fat mass, were unexpected. These findings may indicate decreases in lean tissue as caffeine consumption increases.”
The clinical implications of the study are unknown, considering there were only small reductions in some neonatal anthropometric measures, Grantz said. “Other evidence suggests that even small amounts of caffeine intake during pregnancy (50 mg/day) could be associated with a higher risk of excess growth in infancy and childhood that could put children at higher risk of later cardiometabolic disease,” she said.
“Therefore, our results could indicate some disruption in normal fetal growth patterns, but will require more research to confirm.”
Although the study authors are unable to make recommendations based on the results of their single study, “we encourage pregnant women to talk to their providers about caffeine consumption, and suggest that caution may be warranted,” Grantz said.
The next step for the investigators is to evaluate the serial ultrasounds and fetal volumes conducted throughout pregnancy by the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies to determine when changes begin in fetal growth in relation to caffeine measures, and how these changes may be manifested in fetal volumes.
Grantz reports no relevant financial disclosures.
Gleason JL, Tekola-Ayele F, Sundaram R, et al. Association between maternal caffeine consumption and metabolism and neonatal anthropometry: a secondary analysis of the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies–Singletons. JAMA Network Open. Published online March 25, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.3238