As an acupuncturist and East Asian Medicine practitioner specializing in Fertility and Pregnancy, I’ve supported hundreds of pregnant patients in my practice.
Some of my pregnant patients continue with my care after I have supported them with their fertility. Some are previous patients who I supported for other health issues and are now pregnant. Other patients are referred from practitioners like yoga teachers, midwives, doulas, OB/GYNs, and therapists. I have also supported my sister, my colleagues, and some of my closest friends through their own pregnancies.
I am always honored to support pregnant patients because I believe pregnancy really is a miracle. I am also in awe of how amazing bodies are to nurture and nourish little beautiful beings.
My biggest message to pregnant patients is this: listen to your bodies.
For the most part, my patients are busy people who are incredibly dedicated to their careers, families and friends. My patients are also committed to having a healthy pregnancy and doing all that they can to give their babies the most nourishing environment to grow and thrive.
What comes up over and over again is the struggle to have their bodies keep up with their full lives. They feel tired. They have a hard time keeping up with their exercise routine. They crave sweets and pastries and coffee. They also miss their glass of wine or beer to wind down at the end of the day. Their bodies experience aches and pains and other symptoms they’ve never had before.
It’s possible that there are medical issues that need to be addressed and I recommend to my patients to check-in with their doctors and midwives.
Ruling out medical issues, the message the body is giving is that it really needs support. Whereas before pregnancy many people are able to push through and get things done, now their bodies are giving them a lesson in slowing down and letting go of doing it all.
Many of my patients benefit from taking a nap, going to sleep a little earlier and resting more. Many of my patients benefit from easing up on their commitments and delegating tasks from their to-do list so that they can go to yoga class and exercise. They benefit from asking for help from loved ones to help them cook healthy meals. They benefit from creating boundaries to protect their energy so that they can do the things they enjoy like spending time with family and friends.
Many of my patients notice the amazing benefits of acupuncture. Acupuncture can be very supportive by giving them one hour in their week to be taken care of and to let go of their worries and stress. They get to lay down, close their eyes, listen to soft, soothing music and feel comforted with a heat lamp (or a fan if they are running hot). With regular treatments, they report feeling more relaxed, having better moods, sleeping more deeply, and more. They report a decrease in their symptoms like neck and back pain, constipation, acid reflux, and headaches.
Acupuncture is a wonderful way for pregnant people to have the space to slow down, go inward, and deeply connect with themselves. After all, their busy bodies deserve this time- they are growing a baby (or babies)!
If you are pregnant or have a pregnant person in your life, please share this blog post with them. Acupuncture can provide wonderful support. But above all else, the deeper message I would love to share is that slowing down and listening to the body is the best way to drop the struggle and have a more enjoyable pregnancy.