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Shoshana Bennett: During & After Pregnancy, Take Care of Yourself

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Acupuncture is a type of ancient Chinese medicine. It has been used for thousands of years, and works with over 2,000 pressure points and energy meridians in your body. As you probably know, acupuncture uses disposable needles as thin as a strand of hair placed just below the skin to stimulate these points on your body. Treatments are usually painless. At worst, patients have reported tingling, heaviness, or a slight burning sensation where certain needles are positioned.

What is great for pregnant women is that acupuncture provides assistance with a myriad of conditions associated with pregnancy without drugs. Pregnant women need to work with a highly skilled practitioner, since stimulating certain points on the body can hasten labor by ripening the cervix.

A study by Harvard University figured that over 5 million Americans visit acupuncturists every year. The National Institute of Health supports this claim, saying that a growing number of doctors and dentists refer people to acupuncturists for prevention as well as treatment.

Acupuncture is a common treatment for headaches, allergies, arthritis, digestion problems, and relief from the side effects of chemotherapy. At every stage of pregnancy and beyond, acupuncture has time-honored and scientifically-proven benefits--not just for you but for your baby. Valerie Hobbs, director of the Southwest Acupuncture College, says that babies can be influenced by “maternal toxins” while in the womb. These toxins can lead to higher fevers, frequent childhood illnesses, and a tendency towards skin irritations. Hobbs says, “Regular balancing treatments throughout pregnancy enhance the health of the mother, preventing complications and influence the development of the baby.”

It is controversial if traditional acupuncture can cause fetal movement, early contractions, and spontaneous abortion in the first trimester. However, a well-known acupuncture study was conducted in the UK on about 600 women who were in the first trimester. No adverse reactions were found. Women in the study reported less fatigue, migraines, bloating, and bleeding.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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