When a woman is pregnant what she can do for herself when she feels unwell is greatly limited by the need to take care of the life growing inside of her. We are all aware of how much what a women consumes affects the baby, especially in the first trimester. Smart women stop smoking, they refrain from drinking alcohol and they are cautious about taking any medication that is not absolutely necessary, and even then they worry. This is a very limiting time yet, it is also a time when the body is under great stress. Things hurt more, the body is fighting to nourish the baby and still take care of the woman carrying the child. Then there are so many problems that can arise during a pregnancy that are side effects of being pregnant. These include morning sickness, lower back pain, swelling of the ankles. What can be done safely if she becomes ill? Depending on if it is an illness or some pregnancy conditions acupuncture can handle many of the things that a woman might have to deal with.
Remembering that acupuncture is based not just on medical knowledge but on the philosophical beliefs of Qi, the balance of the body’s energy, many things that occur during pregnancy that make a woman unwell are blamed on an imbalance of the body’s QI. For example, morning sickness, that period of time when the day starts and a woman feels nauseous or vomits, is felt to be caused because the digestive ability of the body is out of balance. This is often blamed on the spleen system which can have problems reflected by the worries of a new mother. Nonetheless it can be helped by acupuncture. Other things that can be caused by the same issues of imbalance are constipation, hemorrhoids or heartburn.
Two other common problems during pregnancy are lower backache and swelling of the ankles. Seventy five percent of all pregnant women suffer some back pain. It can be mild or it can be severe enough that it leads to difficulty sleeping especially towards the end. In the later stages of pregnancy a women often retains a lot of fluid. This can cause swelling in the ankles, feet, hands, and even the face. This is something that she should first report to her health care provider to see if there are any other symptoms with it that are of concern. If she has other symptoms like high blood pressure or high levels of protein in her urine this is a possible sign of preeclampsia and that is a serious situation. On the other hand if those levels are normal than the swelling she is suffering from is likely reflective of an imbalance of Qi due to a deficiency of the kidneys or again of the spleen system.
Fortunately all of these problems can be alleviated by the use of acupuncture in a safe and comfortable manner. Further it can be counted on to improve the problems without any danger to the baby.