Acupuncture & Pregnancy
Acupuncture is thousands of years old and uses detailed diagnostic standards to effectively treat many different complications associated with pregnancy, labor, and postpartum conditions. Pregnancy is an exciting and wonderful time, but with the many physical and hormonal changes that occur, it can also be a time of discomfort. Acupuncture is a safe, gentle and effective way to address common pregnancy related complaints.
Shannon enjoys working with couples on their journey to parenthood. She believes in our bodies miraculous and innate power to create, maintain, and give birth to new life. Having been through her own major life transition physically and emotionally after having her son, she personally understands the joy and difficulty with the changing demands on the body during pregnancy, postpartum, and caring for a newborn. Pregnancy and postpartum is an incredibly transitional and empowering time in a woman’s life and pulls us into finding deeper meaning and love in our lives. All women deserve to be supported, nurtured and taken care of while adjusting to the profound changes motherhood creates.
Please click on the conditions below to learn more about how acupuncture can help you.
Acupuncture works to restore the nervous system and calm repetitious mental loops or thought patterns. Through treating the whole person (mind, body, spirit), acupuncture works to treat in an individualized and deep way through getting to the root of the problem. It is great at restoring the sleep cycles as well, so the response to stress is supported by being well rested.
When the edema persists after resting or is present upon awakening in the morning, further medical testing may be needed. This can be a sign of preeclampsia, a condition where protein is found in the urine and women have elevated blood pressure. This can be a serious condition that needs close monitoring.
Acupuncture can be very effective at treating the subcutaneous edema. It helps the body to better metabolize the fluid in the body, decreasing swelling and discomfort associated with swelling.
· Protein in urine
· High blood pressure
· Potential elevated liver enzymes
· Persistent edema
· Headache and visual disturbances
· Decreased urination
· And in severe cases, seizures
Women tend to notice the onset in the second and third trimester. The causative factors for preeclampsia are not well understood, but some possible factors include:
· High blood pressure prior to pregnancy
· First pregnancy
· Renal disease, diabetes, and other blood vessel problems
· Stress and high cortisol, leading to hypertension
· Multiple births
· Smoking during pregnancy
· Autoimmune response
The earlier it occurs, the more dangerous and potentially life threatening it can be. Modern medical care and early detection help to prevent life threatening situations from arising. Typically women are monitored regularly and are advised to rest. Some women may be required to be hospitalized on bed rest.
Treatment for preeclampsia varies depending on the patients individual constitution. Acupuncture can help to relax the body and nervous system. This helps to support the over strained vascular system and restore and re balance the heart. There are many acupuncture points that are empirical for reducing blood pressure (in the liver and gallbladder meridian specifically). Eastern treatment can be an incredible support with western monitoring.
· Pre-existing conditions
· Disorders in pregnancy like anemia, severe nausea and vomiting
· Placenta previa
· Pregnancy of multiples
· Mothers who smoke, drink, or use drugs during pregnancy
· Physical or emotional stress
· Poor prenatal nutrition and low maternal weight
· Gestational diabetes
IGR can cause premature births and or babies with IGR are more likely to develop problems at birth or down the road as they may have learning disabilities.
Acupuncture has been clinically shown to increase blood flow to the uterus. It can help to increase circulation in the mother and also to the baby. Acupuncture can also work with anxiety and stress associated with IGR. Through working on stress reduction, we work on increasing circulation to the developing fetus.
Acupuncture with Moxa has up to a 70-80% success rate at turning breach babies when women come in for treatment between 32-37 weeks. Acupuncture and Moxa help to circulate qi or energy in the uterus. Moxa is a Chinese Herb (otherwise known as mugwort) that is burned over a specific acupuncture point.
Shannon has women come in shortly after they find our their baby is breech and prioritizes fitting women into her schedule as soon as possible. The earlier women get treatment, the better the success, as their is more room in the uterus for the baby to get re positioned. Shannon sends women home with moxa and has them burn it over a specific acupuncture point up to two times a day if possible. Depending on how far along a women is in her pregnancy, Shannon may recommend having women come in twice in the first week.
Studies have shown acupuncture’s ability to reduce labor duration and lowers cesarean and epidural rates.
One study included 169 women. Information was gathered by 14 midwives as part of their midwifery practice in New Zealand. It found that when comparing all caregivers (midwives, general practitioners, and specialists) to those women who received pre-birth acupuncture there was:
· An overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions (for women having their 1st baby there was a 43% reduction)
· A 31% reduction in the epidural rate
· A 32% reduction in cesarean delivery
· A 9% increase in vaginal birth
Acupuncture is a gentle way to nudge and encourage the body to do what it is naturally doing as women approach labor. Shannon spends approximately an hour with each patient and needles are generally retained longer with labor preparation treatments.
Words cannot describe how grateful I am to Shannon for everything she has done from me in the last year and a half. As I write this, the son I thought I might never have is sleeping soundly next to me. I have Shannon to thank for helping us start our family."
"- Hannah Bernard-Donals, CPM, LM
When I walk into New Moon Wellness, I immediately feel relaxed. This atmosphere reflects Shannon’s approach perfectly. She listens patiently and approaches any situation with compassion. I found sessions with her to be very healing and often recommend her to my midwifery clients."
My teenage daughter struggled with nearly debilitating headaches for two years. We did all the conventional tests, and doctors couldn’t provide any answers. After just one acupuncture treatment with Shannon, my daughter felt relief, and so did I! She now receives one treatment a week and is seeing great results from treatments and the Chinese herbs Shannon recommended"
I began seeing Shannon soon after suffering a miscarriage. Having never experienced acupuncture before, Shannon took the time to explain the process and ensured I was comfortable before proceeding. While she recommended a protocol and supplemental herbs, I never felt pressured to follow her recommendation. She genuinely seemed to care about my struggle with infertility and only made suggestions to benefit me. I also appreciated that Shannon supported my choice to use acupuncture as a supplement to IVF."
For the next 9 months I regularly saw Shannon as she helped to heal my body and prepare it for the in vitro process. She made herself available on the day of the embryo transfer (a Sunday) both before and after the procedure. When I became pregnant (yeah!) I continued to see Shannon throughout the length of my high risk pregnancy, which I have no doubt aided in a long and healthy pregnancy. The treatments also relieved some of the discomforts of pregnancy, including back pain and swollen ankles.
I always looked forward to my treatments with Shannon. Not only because of the relaxation they provided, but for our pre-treatment chats as well. She took the time to get an update regarding my pregnancy and anything else I wanted to talk about, never rushing me to the table unless I was the one in a hurry. Shannon is warn and compassionate, and her treatments are likely a big reason why my husband and I are now the proud parents of three beautiful, silly, very entertaining daughters. I highly recommend Shannon for any fertility or pregnancy related situation you may be faced with. Thank you Shannon! I will forever be grateful!
Shannon is amazing not only has she helped me deal w/ my health issues over the years of treatments, she has become a wonderful friend. Shannon is exactly the perfect health professional a person needs; kind, sympathetic, and understands how to help someone in need. As a patient, you will be in excellent care working with her."
I can’t say enough great things about Shannon – my acupuncture treatments help me to feel calm and relaxed. Shannon has a real gift for listening, and for assessing my concerns in order to tailor each treatment. I always look forward to my sessions and would recommend Shannon to anybody."
I have received acupuncture treatments from Shannon for more than a year. Shannon is knowledgeable, caring, and careful. She listens. The treatments are wonderfully relaxing and have helped me with a variety of ailments."
"- Casey Rowe
I was skeptical about ear acupuncture the first time I tried it. Shannon made me feel very comfortable and relaxed and was able to completely normalize my cycle in that one appointment when I hadn’t had my period in two years!"
I received a few labor induction acupuncture treatments at the end of my pregnancy. My doctor decided to induce me a week early due to health complications and I was not thrilled with the decision. I wanted labor to start naturally and turned to acupuncture. Shannon worked her schedule to fit me in with short notice, was personable and caring, and the treatments worked! My water broke naturally just a few hours before I was supposed to go in and get induced. I have a happy and healthy baby boy."
Shannon was a gift throughout my pregnancy! Regular acupuncture treatments made a tremendous difference when I was experiencing morning sickness during my first trimester. I consistently felt better for a several days following each treatment. I was so grateful for Shannon’s depth of knowledge related to pregnancy, and her kindness and empathy. I can’t recommend her highly enough!"
I came to Shannon around 36 weeks pregnant looking for a gentle way of moving my breech baby and to avoid the cesarean section I was scheduled for if baby did not turn. Shannon used acupuncture and moxibustion and sent me home with additional tools to help baby move. I was very comfortable during the treatment, and even got in a little nap during the process. I went in to the hospital 8 days later for a scheduled external cephalic version, which I was dreading. When they did the ultrasound before the procedure, much to my surprise and delight, baby was now head down! I was able to have a medication free birth and delivery the day before my due date and had a healthy baby girl!"
Acupuncture with Shannon has been such an important part of my journey toward pregnancy. Shannon brings not only a wealth of knowledge about fertility treatment but also a calm and supportive understanding of the whole process. There were times when I felt hopeless and was ready to give up. Shannon helped me to manage the emotional as well as the physical difficulties. Now I am five months pregnant and will continue to receive acupuncture throughout my pregnancy."
After more than two and a half years of struggling with infertility, I decided to try acupuncture. Shannon was recommended to me by others whom she had helped. I was very overwhelmed, frustrated and hopeless when I first met her. Shannon’s calming, healing presence put me at ease from the very first session. She helped me to understand my situation from a different perspective, and throughout my treatments with her, I learned learned more than I anticipated not only about my physical health, but also my mental and spiritual health. Within six months after beginning acupuncture (after 18 months of western infertility treatment), I was pregnant. Unfortunately I experienced a miscarriage at 8 weeks, however Shannon helped me through that difficult time with her emotional support and acupuncture treatments. Through a combination of Western medications, Chinese herbs, and continued acupuncture, I was pregnant again within two months and am expecting my first baby this September. I feel that I was finally able to have a successful pregnancy for a variety of reasons, but greatly credit the acupuncture treatments with Shannon to helping me get to this point. I would highly recommend that others seek out Shannon’s services due to the positive experiences I have had with her. Thank you, Shannon!"
Working with Shannon during my struggles to get pregnant was a bright spot during a very difficult time. She was always positive and supportive. The treatments were calming and really helped with my overall mood. I also saw Shannon during the end of my pregnancy and postpartum. It was an amazing experience."