Gravidbalans - Acupuncture

Gravidbalans - Acupuncture in pregnancy

During pregnancy, your body does incredible work. It works every second to provide the baby with everything it needs and to make you feel as good as possible.

With acupuncture, you help your own body and your baby's body to preserve and restore balance so that you can continue as optimally as possible during pregnancy and birth. This also applies after childbirth when the body must heal and recover.

Acupuncture can also support milk production, breastfeeding and bonding.

By the use of acupuncture during pregnancy, you support the uterus and your body and the baby's body before the birth.

Acupuncture can prevent complications, shorten the course of labor and increase the chance of labor starting in "normal" time.

What does the research show?

"Existing scientific literature shows that acupuncture is a safe and effective method to use for pelvic pain during pregnancy".

Fang J & Balica A, 2022. Acupuncture as treatment for Pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy

"The women in the study described that they were able to handle life in a better way and also the changes that pregnancy brought with it. Acupuncture thus proves to be a supportive treatment for depression during pregnancy." 

Omsby S, et al., 2017. Women´s experiences of having depression during pregnancy and recieving acupuncture treatment.

"The study indicates that acupuncture given at full term pregnancy reduces the number of inductions carried out due to postdate pregnancy. Acupuncture also seems to be able to reduce the use of oxytocin (augmentation drip)." 

Neri I, et al., 2018. Acupuncture in Postdate Pregnancy Management  

Acupuncture during pregnancy

Acupuncture is a many-thousand-year-old form of treatment, originating in China and is part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). In recent years, acupuncture has also gained a place in Western medicine, and more and more Western research shows the benefits of acupuncture for several different conditions and symptoms.

Pregnant people are a group that traditional Chinese medicine has devoted itself to for a long time, and thus there is great experience and knowledge about how acupuncture can help balance the pregnant body and remedy pregnancy ailments.

However, acupuncture during childbirth is a younger tradition that is mainly used in the Western world.

Is acupuncture safe to use during pregnancy?

Acupuncture is generally a safe treatment method, especially for you who are pregnant and the unborn child as nothing is added to the body.

It is important to know that the concept of treatment as we in the Western world see it is very different from the traditional view of acupuncture.

According to Chinese tradition, healthy or sick is not seen as black or white, instead it is regarded as different degrees of imbalance. Only when there is a large imbalance do we get symptoms and illness. Acupuncture strengthens the body's own self-healing ability by creating balance. Based on this point of view, it becomes a little less tricky to explain how acupuncture can have a place in connection with, or before a physiological birth.

Some points are avoided during certain periods of the pregnancy, as they are considered to lead to contractions and thus disturb the baby in the womb. According to studies done, stimulation of these points has not led to miscarriages or other serious events.

We at Gravidbalans and many with us avoid them, however, out of consideration for the child and in order not to disturb the body's own physiology.

How can acupuncture help you?

There are a lot of pregnancy complaints that can be alleviated or completely remedied with acupuncture.

Acupuncture can have a good effect on both physical and emotional ailments. Fear, anxiety, pain and tension can be reduced already during ongoing treatment. Repeated treatments are usually needed for a lasting effect.

Acupuncture has a generally relaxing effect and the treatment session is often experienced as a pleasant moment where you can treat yourself to unwinding.

Pelvic pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and nausea of pregnancy are some of the symptoms where acupuncture has a very good and scientifically proven effect. In the document below, you can read more about which pregnancy ailments you can get help with.

Birth preparation acupuncture and maturing acupuncture

Acupuncture received in the latter part of pregnancy can lead to a shortened labor course, reduced need for pain relief during labor and a greater chance of labor starting on time. Studies also show that newborns have higher Apgar scores at birth if the mother received acupuncture late in pregnancy.

General preparatory acupuncture is given from gestation week 36, with treatment once a week until birth and aims to prepare you physically, emotionally and mentally for birth. 
Read more about the treatment here.

Acupuncture before a planned caesarean section aims to support and strengthen you physically, emotionally and mentally before, during and after your birth.

In the event of a planned ceasarean section, acupuncture can be given from gestation week 37, to strengthen the uterus before the operation, make the tendons and muscles relax, lower the stress level and calm anxious thoughts, prevent and relieve pain.
Read more about the treatment here.

Maturation acupuncture is a more intensive treatment and is given at the earliest from EDD (date of estimated birth), or at the earliest one week before planned induction of labor.

The treatment aims to mature the cervix and the uterus. If the body is ready to start the birth process, acupuncture helps the body and psyche to balance so that labor starts spontaneously. If the body is not ready, the treatment may induce contractions but will not initiate labour.
The treatment is given two to three times a week until labor starts.
Read more about the treatment here.

Acupuncture/moxa treatment for breech presentation is for you who have a child who lies with head up and bottom down. The treatment is given from gestation week 34. 

Instead of needles, warming moxa sticks are used which are held over particular points. The treatment aims to activate the uterus and thereby help the baby turn head down before birth. Read more here.

New research on moxa treatment for breech presentation

How does it work when receiving acupuncture treatment?

All symptom treatments and preparatory treatments are individually tailored, therefore a free telephone consultation is booked first, which gives us time to plan your particular treatment.
Read more and/or book here.

When we meet for the first time, we go over your health again, what you want help with and set up a treatment plan.

You will then sit/lie on a comfortable couch supported by pillows and the needles will be placed. It can take a while to measure out where they should sit.

The needles are in place for about 20 minutes on each occasion and how many needles are inserted depends on what is being treated and what is required for you in particular. Between 5-10 needles is common.

Sometimes a technique called threading is used. It is a more superficial method than acupuncture that has a local pain-relieving effect. More needles are then used than with acupuncture.

How often and how many treatments are needed also differ depending on the effect you get, but also depending on what the treatment is aimed at. Treatment sessions are often more frequent at the beginning and then become less frequent.

We book a reappointment and evaluate the effect on an ongoing basis in order to be able to adjust with more/fewer points and the time between each treatment session is also adjusted along the way.