generally feel like your hormones are haywire? The birth control pill is a common 'solution' but in reality, it only serves to coverup those symptoms. At GCA&F, we practice cause medicine, and we want to get to the bottom of whats going on.
  • Pregnancy
  • Fertility
  • Periods
  • Menopause
  • IVF Support
  • Birth Prep
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Ongoing Acu for Parents

DISCLAIMER

All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.

Prenatal acupuncture is safe, effective and relaxing!

What are benefits of prenatal acupuncture?

  • Reduce stress

  • Diminish pain

  • Build trust in body

  • Prepare for labor

  • Optimize fetal position

 

Prenatal acupuncture can address:

  • Nausea

  • Constipation

  • Heartburn

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Stress

  • Itching

  • Swelling

  • Back pain

  • Pubic pain

  • Headaches

  • Sinus congestion

  • Carpal tunnel

     You can access acupuncture at any pointduring pregnancy to address concerns from stress to constipation to pubic pain. Receiving regular acupuncture treatments in the last 4-6 weeks of pregnancy has also been associated with increased cervical ripening and shorter “more timely labors”. Seeing an acupuncturist who specializes in pregnancy is important for getting the most effective and appropriate care specifically tailored to your body and your pregnancy.

Benefits of acupuncture during Pregnancy

Many people credit acupuncture for easing a wide range of pregnancy symptoms including:

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  • Morning sickness

  • Lower back and pelvic pain 

  • Depression

  • Headaches

  • Sleep Problems

  • Heartburn

  • Swelling in the legs

  • Constipation

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Sciatica

Research has shown that receiving regular acupuncture in the weeks leading up to your due date can reduce labor-time by several hours.  It can also help you to get into labor before the 41-42-week deadline.  This is achieved through enhancing blood-flow and relaxing muscles and tendons.

 

Pre-Birth and Birth

How does it work?
Pre-birth acupuncture prepares a woman’s body for labour by tonifying and nourishing the body. The acupuncture points help to relax and soften uterine ligaments and bring blood flow to the pelvis. This encourages the baby to descend into the birth canal in the proper position, while preparing the cervix to soften and dilate and the uterine muscles to effectively contract when needed.

 

What are the benefits?

  • Increased likelihood of spontaneous labour around due date, meaning reduced likelihood of induction

  • Reduced risk of medical intervention (C-section, forceps, epidural, etc.)

  • Faster, easier birth (on average, 1.5 hours shorter)

  • When acupuncture has been done routinely, there is an increased effectiveness of natural “induction” acupuncture.

 

When should a woman begin pre-birth acupuncture?

She should start weekly 30 minute treatments, beginning at 36 weeks, and continuing until her due date.

Does acupuncture help with turning breech babies?
Yes. Often I will combine acupuncture with moxa(herbs heated over specific acupuncture points) to encourage babies to move to the proper position.

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Does acupuncture cause pre-term labour?

No. Specific points are avoided until your due date, as they are known to promote labour. The points used for pre-birth acupuncture will not bring on early labour.

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If I am overdue, will acupuncture help induce me?

Yes, additional acupuncture points can be added if you are past your due date to: help your baby engage into the birth canal, gently promote cervical softening and dilation, and strengthen birth sensations (contractions). These treatments can be done more frequently (every 1-3 days) until labour begins. Also it will help to build energy and calm anxieties and frustrations, which often and understandably arise.

Birth Acupuncture

    Acupuncture in labor can also help reduce the intensity of the pain, especially pain due to back labor (when baby is in a posterior position facing your front rather than your back).   

 

    Research from Norway confirmed many midwives’  beliefs that acupuncture while laboring not only reduces pain but delivery time as well.

    Birth acupuncture is billed at an hourly rate and is dependent upon availability.  If you wish to secure my availability ahead of time, you may pay an “on call fee” in addition to my hourly rate.

Because it is not always possible to have an acupuncturist on call to attend births, accessing prenatal acupuncture, pregnancy and birth support, and/or doula services are all great ways to prepare for an efficient birth experience where acupuncture in labor is unnecessary!

In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.

The greatest pleasure of life is Love.

Female Fertility

For Individuals and Couples seeking to create a family. Both female and male partners can use Acupuncture as an effective addition to standard infertility treatment, and may significantly improve fertility treatment outcome.

  • You do not need to wait until you have been diagnosed with infertility or other reproductive issues.Â

  • If you are working or planning to work with a reproductive endocrinologist (RE), we will collaborate with their treatment plan to get you the best of both worlds.
       •    Folks are welcome when they have just started trying to get pregnant or been trying for 4 months or 4 years.

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  • Weekly acupuncture is recommended for at least three months to see changes in cycle irregularly, egg quality, menstrual flow and ovulation. During that time you will likely experience positive changes in sleep, stress, energy and mood as well!

 

Benefits of Acupuncture for Enhancing Female Fertility

Fertility acupuncture is beneficial when you are:

  • Hoping to regulate your cycle to prepare for future conception or when coming off birth control

  • Trying to conceive naturally without the help of medication, IUI or IVF

  • Working with a provider doing medicated or unmedicated IUI

  • Going through IVF 

  • Transferring an embryo 

 

Acupuncture works to enhance fertility by:

  • Regulating reproductive hormones

  • Normalizing insulin sensitivity

  • Promoting uterine and ovarian blood flow increasing the thickness of the uterine lining

  • Promoting ovulation

  • Lessening the side effects of medications used to treat infertility during IUI and IVF cycles
    Acupuncture and herbal medicine together have also been shown to:

  • Increase sperm count, morphology and motility 

  • Improve egg quality over a period of three months

 

 

Conditions impacting fertility that acupuncture and East Asian medicine may treat include but are not limited to:

  • Painful or heavy periods and PMS

  • Irregular cycles or anovulation

  • Endometriosis

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

  • Low AMH 

  • Low progesterone or luteal phase issues

  • History of miscarriage or recurrent miscarriage

  • Unexplained infertility

 

Check out these FAQ’s about Acupuncture and its many benefits.

FERTILITY

As a fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM), I am proud to be a specialist in fertility acupuncture. Acupuncture can help you achieve optimal heath prior to conception. Good preconception health can lead to a healthier pregnancy, birth and baby. Acupuncture helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries making it easier to conceive. For folks using Assisted Reproductive Technology such as IUI or IVF, acupuncture can be a wonderful ally increasing the chance of healthy pregnancy and reducing stress. Check out this blogpost to learn more about how acupuncture can help you achieve your fertility goals.

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IVF

Many people chose to optimize their IVF success with acupuncture. Starting regular treatments roughly three months before IVF is recommended to maximize egg quality before stimulation and egg retrieval. Acupuncture is also recommended leading up to embryo transfers and has been shown to help increase the uterine lining facilitating implantation of the embryo. Two mini acupuncture sessions just before and after an embryo transfer have also been shown to increase the likelihood of pregnancy. 

PREGNANCY

Acupuncture in pregnancy is a perfect drug-free way to reduce many of the issues that can arise in pregnancy. It can help alleviate nausea, vomiting, heartburn, constipation, fatigue, insomnia, body pain, carpal tunnel, leg cramps, and edema, just to name a few. The time you spend on the table helps to build your connection and trust in your body, leading to a happier healthier pregnancy and birth. It is recommended in the first trimester to help reduce stress, prevent miscarriage, boost the immune system and mitigate pregnancy side effects. Read more about prenatal acupuncture here.

 

BIRTH PREP

Acupuncture is wonderful for birth preparation with weekly treatments beginning at 35 weeks. Research, as well as feedback from midwives, shows acupuncture during this time can lead to shorter labors with less interventions. Acupuncture sessions prior to a cesarean birth will help build your immune system for an easier recovery. Not only does it help prepare you for birth but we can address aches and pains along the way!

POSTPARTUM

Postpartum acupuncturecan help speed recovery, increase milk supply, help to stabilize emotions, reduce stress and fatigue and help re-establish healthy menstrual cycles. It can be very challenging to find time for self care during this period but your body, your baby, and your whole family will benefit!

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ONGOING ACUPUNCTURE FOR PARENTS

Acupuncture is an excellent option for stress reduction and wellness to handle the demanding world of parenting. Remember when you used to have down time to relax, see friends, read for pleasure, or exercise? Now that those times don’t come around so often, you deserve at least an hour a week to de-stress while boosting your immunity and stripping away the aches and pains.

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MENSTRUAL ISSUES

  • If you are struggling to conceive, stress can disrupt the flow of your fertility hormones. Having an irregular menstrual cycle can also affect your likelihood of getting pregnant. Lessening your stress and improving your blood flow can help regulate ovulation. Acupuncture can help address all of these issues.
    STRESS AND THE FERTILITY JOURNEY

People going through infertility experience high levels of stress and anxiety. Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture significantly reduces stress and anxiety particularly for those going through IVF. Just a few needles are enough to bring the body out of fight or flight and into a more relaxed state, increasing resiliency in a time that often pushes people to their limits.

MOXA FOR BREECH BABIES

Acupuncture and moxa can help stimulate the turning of breech babies. This is best done between 34 and 36 weeks though is worth a try even later in pregnancy. Usually the treatment will involve teaching a moxa technique to be done daily at home for ten days in conjunction with 2-3 acupuncture sessions.

More questions? Schedule a free consult or initial appointment with Kimbrell Rayfield to learn more about how acupuncture can help enhance your fertility and make your family building goals reality!