Acupuncture for Pregnancy, Childbirth and Postpartum Issues (3rd Trimester)

General Approaches

Acupuncture For Pregnancy, Childbirth And Postpartum Issues (3rd Trimester)

Acupuncture treatment protocols are generally directed towards the deeper root of a persons set of health issues, not at each individual issue. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, treatment is generally directed towards the individuals diagnostic pattern(s) and their primary issue is only a part of the information required to approach the correct patterns to treat (see "treating the cause vs. the symptoms" for an introduction to this process.).

Below you will find common acupuncture diagnoses and treatment options for issues which may arise during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.

  • Sciatica and Back Pain (also described in more detail here)
  • Symptoms: nausea, vomiting, general lethargy, strong food cravings or aversions
  • TCM Theory: Chronic sciatica issues in pregnancy are often related to the deficiency of kidney qi. Acute sciatica issues often involve a stagnation of qi and blood or a collection of cold and dampness in the area.
  • Treatment:

  • Edema
  • Symptoms: mild swelling in ankles/hands
  • TCM Theory: Edema is generally related to a deficiency of yang in either the spleen and/or kidneys. More basic cases are related to a stagnation of qi.
  • Differentiations:
    • Spleen Yang Deficiency
    • Signs and Symptoms: skin may be yellow, breathlessness, oppression in the chest, tired, loose stools, cold limbs
    • Tongue: Pale, Wet
    • Pulse: Weak, Slippery
    • Treatment Goals: Tonify Spleen and Yang, Resolve Dampness
    • Acupuncture Points: SP 9 (resolve dampness), SP 3 (tonify spleen), ST 36 (tonify st/sp qi), KD 7 (tonify yang), UB 20 (sp shu), UB 22 (th shu), (within first trimester you could add CV 9, CV 11, and ST 20 to drain dampness)
    • Kidney Yang Deficiency
    • Signs and Symptoms: edema worse in lower body/ankles, backache, cold legs
    • Tongue: Pale, Wet
    • Pulse: Weak, Deep
    • Treatment Goals: Tonify Kidney and Yang, Resolve Dampness
    • Acupuncture Points: SP 9 (resolve dampness), KD 3 (tonify kidney), ST 36 (tonify st/sp qi), KD 7 (tonify yang), UB 20 (sp shu), UB 23 (kd shu), (within first trimester you could add CV 9 and CV 11 to drain dampness)
    • Stagnation of Qi
    • Signs and Symptoms: abdominal distention, irritability
    • Tongue: Red on the sides
    • Pulse: Wiry
    • Treatment Goals: Harmonize Liver, Drain Dampness
    • Acupuncture Points: ST 40 (resolve dampness), SP 9 (resolve dampness), LV 3 (regulate liver), GB 34 (resolve stagnation), UB 18 (lv shu),
      • Breech Position
      • TCM Theory: The technique of moxibustion on the acupuncture point UB 67 works well for turning the fetus in a breech position and is best used within the 32nd to the 36th week. In general a patient should have a complete diagnosis and initial treatment, but the moxibustion can be performed at home with a moxa stick by a partner. The technique is described in detail on this page.

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