Stages of Pregnancy

Acupuncture for Pregnancy + Postpartum.

Jeremy Cornish, LAc. interviewed by “The Yogi Within.”

What inspired you to work with Prenatal and Postpartum patients?
I treated some pregnancy related conditions early on in my career, but once my wife and I conceived our first child it was game on! Ever since then I’ve seen a ton more pregnant patients. Same thing for pediatrics. I took some cases early on in my career. But somehow since becoming a parent, pediatric cases are now a much higher percentage of my day-to-day. It’s funny how that works.

What are the benefits of Acupuncture during Pregnancy and after?
There are different stages of pregnancy of course, and acupuncture/herbs can have a significant impact depending on the stage. Many couples use Chinese Medicine for fertility enhancement/treatment. Either alone or in conjunction with IVF.  So before you’re even pregnant there’s a lot of benefit there.

1st Trimester
I mainly use acupuncture and herbs to offset nausea/morning sickness and to address a “threatened miscarriage,” which is bleeding. It can be very scary and can also be stopped with certain herbal formulas if caught in time. If a woman has a history of miscarriage, or there was a lot of struggle to become pregnant, then it’s a good idea to use regular acupuncture during the 1st trimester to secure the pregnancy.

2nd Trimester
I pretty much leave the woman alone. This is the golden time of pregnancy. I’ll typically use acupuncture once every 4-6 weeks here. It’s good for addressing reflux, pain, moodiness, etc.

3rd Trimester
It’s getting real at this point. This is when you would use acupuncture to help relax and open the pelvis, address anxieties and fears. In the case of breech babies, your highest chance of flipping them starts at week 34. Chinese medicine is famous for this. As the due date approaches there is often apprehension and nervousness regarding going over the date. Depending on who is managing the case (OB, midwife, etc) there may be more invasive interventions looming over the woman. If the goal is a vaginal, unmedicated birth, it is best to use acupuncture during weeks 38-42 to facilitate the opening/birth process.

3rd trimester is also a great time to start empowering the woman with some simple, effective mindset training. These are the things that made all the difference for me and my wife. You can practice 20 years of jujitsu, or just learn these techniques.

Postpartum
On Day 1 of giving birth we use special herbs and other techniques to stop the bleeding (this is huge).
On Day 2, we begin using special herbal formulas to replenish the nutrients and blood the mother lost during childbirth as well as boost the reserves so she doesn’t lose more during breast feeding.

Other complications postpartum can include intense cramping, lactation trouble, depression, etc. and can all be treated with acupuncture and herbs. It’s amazing. I also recommend an acupuncture session for the Mom and Dad 6-8 weeks out as a way to offset fatigue. Having a little one can be disruptive to sleep, and this medicine does a great job at replenishing our reserves. It’s no substitute for sleep, but in the short term can make all the difference.

What is the biggest fear of Acupuncture? How do you debunk it?
The biggest fear about acupuncture is that it may hurt. But guess what, you’re about to have a baby! Reframing discomfort into a productive experience is a skill you need to practice!