Acupuncture can be very effective for heartburn in pregnancy. Heartburn is a particular problem in the 3rd trimester and can be so severe that women cannot sleep without being propped up by pillows. From a western medial perspective, the increased progesterone and oestrogen hormones relax the muscles at the top of the stomach causing digestive juices to flow upwards. Many women do not liking taking aluminium antacid medication during pregnancy.
Can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture for acid reflux is a safe and natural alternative for pregnant mums when applied by qualified practitioners.
According to Chinese medial theory, what causes heart burn during pregnancy?
If you think about the growing baby and the uterus pushing up into the stomach and the baby is constantly accumulating more and more heat, you can understand how the stomach gets more and more hot. The fire in the stomach then burns upwards and causes heartburn.
As the stomach keeps getting squashed by the uterus in the last stages of pregnancy, it makes it more difficult to eat as there is less and less space for the food, which then causes the food to accumulate. In Chinese medicine this is called food stagnation and this accumulation ends up becoming something like a compost heap, again sending more heat upwards.
Where are the acupuncture points located for this problem?
In traditional Chinese medicine, heart burn during pregnancy is commonly treated by cooling down the stomach using a reducing needle technique on specific stomach meridian acupuncture points located on the legs. There are also many other acupuncture points that can be used, depending on the cause.
Can Chinese herbs help?
There are also herbal formula such as bao he wan that may be used if for example the heart burn is caused by food stagnation. In other instances, the liver may be the chief organ causing the heart burn and liver meridian points may be selected or cooling herbs like zhu ru (bamboo shavings) are chosen.
Are more women using Chinese medicine in the treatment of heart burn during pregnancy?
Scott Pearson, a Wellington based practitioner working from the Newtown Acupuncture Centre, opposite the Wellington Hospital says “More and more midwives are referring to acupuncture now for a host of pregnancy related conditions including heartburn. Its slowly getting out there, that there are alternatives to antacid medication”.
Acupuncture for heartburn during pregnancy is just one of the many pregnancy related conditions commonly treated at The Acupuncture Clinic. Other conditions include insomnia, hypertension and fatigue.