After a ten year reprieve, I recently received the profound gift of becoming a mother for the third time. During my pregnancy, while I was thrilled with the thought of my new arrival, I definitely suffered from the inevitable pregnancy struggles of nausea, body pain, and fatigue, to say the least. During this time, I leaned heavily on acupuncture to get me through the days, weeks, and months that all seemed at least twice as long as they actually were. Although maternal health and fertility aren’t key focuses of my practice, every time I get the chance to receive acupuncture, I fall in love with Chinese medicine all over again. So, during this month for mothers, I’d like to share the ways that acupuncture helped me during my pregnancy, one trimester at at time.
Third trimester: A.K.A. Get this baby out!
In the third trimester, I continued to rely on regular acupuncture treatments for pretty much all of the things that we went over for trimesters one and two. With an ever growing belly, the aches, pains, and fatigue were constantly shifting and changing. As someone who prioritizes feeling my best, it took a strong commitment to self-care and regular treatment. But the biggest superstar regarding acupuncture and the third trimester, and perhaps one of the things that acupuncture gets the most attention for (even amongst crowds who don’t lean on acupuncture for regular treatment), is acupuncture labor induction, another thing I relied heavily on at the end of my pregnancy.
With this being my third pregnancy, I was well aware of my tendency to go post-term. My older two kids were three (!) and two weeks past-term respectively (side note: this is news I rarely try to share with any first time mom, as anyone who has been or is pregnant knows how the days and weeks of the final month or two of pregnancy fully last at least five times as long as regular time!). Because acupuncture labor induction usually takes a few to several visits, and given my history, I got the go ahead from my midwives to start focusing on labor preparation acupuncture treatments ahead of my due date. It’s important to note that you MUST get approval from your labor/delivery team before you start any type of outside induction treatment, and this is always one of the first questions I ask those who come in for labor induction.
I was so grateful for the team at Vitalize to be there for me when I was ready for my baby to come OUT. Being in the calm and bright space was so welcome in those last days of pregnancy, and Vitalize seriously has a super star team of women practitioners who know just how to hold space for a pregnant mama. Perhaps more importantly, they know just how to encourage baby to make their entry to the world while helping calm and prepare mama’s body and mind for pregnancy. Because my babies are stubborn, I welcomed my daughter Orli one week past her due date, but because I know how my tendency to go past term, and because I also utilized acupuncture with my older daughter, I feel confident that the treatments I received helped things move along more quickly. With both pregnancies that I received acupuncture treatment for as labor preparation, I had incredibly efficient and smooth labors, something that I hear from many of the mamas who I’ve seen for labor prep and induction. I’ve seen many a woman become converts to acupuncture/Chinese medicine for regular healthcare after initially coming in only for labor induction.
Thanks for riding along with me on my recollection of acupuncture, self-care, and pregnancy. If you have any questions about how acupuncture can help you in relation to your pregnancy, I definitely encourage you to reach out to the wonderful practitioners at Vitalize, and I hope that by sharing my experiences you will have some context to understand how we can hold space for you during this beautiful (and trying!) time in your life.