Acupuncture for fertility is hugely beneficial in every part of a journey, whether it be fertility, pregnancy or postpartum.
Seven days before I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Acupuncture, I gave birth to my first daughter. I was pregnant with her throughout my final year of school and crammed for my board examinations with her crammed in my belly. After taking a few months at home to ease into my new role as a mother, I rented an office space and opened my practice. I was taking an exciting leap into another unknown yet exciting adventure.
I had relied on regular acupuncture treatments throughout my twenties for all the little things that came up-managing stress, pain and balancing hormones. So there was no doubt in my mind that I would lean on it heavily during my pregnancies and in the early years of motherhood.
But if you haven’t tried it for yourself or aren’t sure how it might fit into your own fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum journey, let me share how beneficial and supportive acupuncture can be.
Preparing for Pregnancy
The human body is pretty miraculous in its ability to self-regulate and maintain homeostasis. Sometimes, however, it needs a little nudge in the right direction. Acupuncture during fertility can help bring the body into balance and promote healing, making it a wonderful modality for women trying to conceive. Research shows acupuncture helps reduce stress, which can positively affect hormone levels. It improves blood circulation to the pelvis, tissue repair, and muscle tone, all of which can have a positive effect on egg development and implantation. It has also been shown to complement more traditional medical interventions for women undergoing IVF and IUI treatments.
Acupuncture has an amazing ability to treat multiple symptoms and multiple body systems at the same time so one treatment can address many issues at once.
The next 40 weeks
Whether it’s the early weeks of nausea and fatigue, the aches and pains of a changing body, or the anxious preparation as you approach the home stretch, acupuncture can assist you throughout your pregnancy. What drew me to acupuncture initially and what continues to inspire me is its holistic, whole-person approach. Acupuncture has an amazing ability to treat multiple symptoms and multiple body systems at the same time. This means one treatment can address many issues at once. It can also provide support for pregnant women suffering from pain, sleeplessness, stress, digestive issues like reflux or indigestion. It can even assist in labor preparation in the weeks leading up to the baby’s arrival. Acupuncture can also be effective in adjusting the breech position so that a natural birth can be possible.
I know for me, this was a messy, exhausting and exhilarating time. In our society, much of the focus after birth goes towards the infant. In many other cultures, postpartum is a time when the new mother is pampered, nurtured and rehabilitated. New moms need a lot of support. Acupuncture can be a powerful healing agent for both the body and mind. Not only is the body changing, but hormones are also in flux (again!) and sleep is at an all-time low.
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the body’s vital energy is also depletes after childbirth. Acupuncture can help replenish and restore balance in a woman’s body. It’s effective in treating postpartum conditions such as postpartum depression, insufficient breast milk, incontinence, and hemorrhoids. Acupuncture treatment, as well as herbs, diet and lifestyle modifications, can help to fortify women during this precious time.
There are many changes physically and emotionally throughout the pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and postpartum periods. Wherever you are in your journey, consider treatment by a licensed acupuncturist to support your body, mind, and spirit.