Of Pins and Needles During Pregnancy

We’ve all heard about acupuncture. Whether you’ve heard it from your elders or watched it from Kung Fu Panda, we all know that acupuncture involves having very thin needles pinned on your body. In my mind, acupuncture was painful; acupuncture was dangerous. No doctor has recommended that to me and so it was a shock when I heard about Elaine Hickman’s pregnancy acupuncture clinic. 

So just a backstory, I have been trying to get a baby for around two years now and for some unknown reason, it was never my luck to conceive one. I have tried different methods and went to different doctors. It can be quite discouraging, but I believe with determination and with the right methods, I will eventually get pregnant. A number of my friends knew this and one of them suggested I try acupuncture to increase the probability of getting pregnant. This was absurd to me at first. My notion of acupuncture I already mentioned a while ago and the thought of it doesn’t make me keen on trying it at all. However, I was running out of options and my friend said that there was nothing to lose anyway. It was worth a shot, I said. After a while undergoing acupuncture and trying again with my husband, the result of my pregnancy testing was positive. 

How did this work? Well, acupuncture actually has a number of benefits for pregnancy and they have been proven by a number of studies. One common pregnancy symptom is morning sickness. A lot of pregnant women experience this. If you aren’t familiar with morning sickness, it is simply nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It does not necessarily happen in the mornings. At times, it occurs all throughout the day. Although there is no proven cause for morning sickness and this makes it harder for any treatment to treat it fully, acupuncture is said to be able to help relieve it. To relieve morning sickness, the acupuncture should focus on the wrists. 

Another pregnancy symptom is pain in the lower back and pelvis. This symptom is especially obvious since you will be carrying all the weight of the baby while he/she is in your body. The body parts that are directly affected here are the pelvis and lower back. The lower back hurts because the center of mass moves from the middle of your body to somewhere a little bit forward since the baby resides in the stomach area. To adjust to this shift in the center of mass, your back somewhat bends backward and that is why the lower back hurts. The pelvis usually hurts because the bone structure adjusts to the baby as well. This is why we notice that the pelvic area widens a few centimeters. 

While these benefits are true, I cannot help but worry about the side effects of acupuncture. If not side effects, the possible risks I will be facing when I continue undergoing acupuncture. In general, acupuncture already has a few risks because of the way it is administered. Since needles are stuck in your body, there is a high chance of redness, infection, and soreness. Moreover, you are facing the risk of infection when the needles aren’t put properly or when they are placed too deeply on your skin. 

I have been talking endlessly about acupuncture and how it affects pregnancy, but I haven’t talked about Elaine Hickman to whose clinic I was recommended to go to. Allow me to talk a bit about her and how she ended up practicing acupuncture. 

Elaine Hickman is a doctor working at Freedom Chinese Medicine and she is famous for her interest and expertise in acupuncture. I watched one of her videos online and like me, she associated acupuncture with the Chinese and as a branch of treatment that she was iffy with. However, she took an interest in helping people by reducing the body pain they were experiencing. She started massaging the pressure points of the body and friends of hers have said it was effective. This started her lifelong journey at Freedom Chinese Medicine. 

When I went to her clinic I was immediately impressed at her passion for helping people through acupuncture. I was more hooked actually and I guess her passion was able to make me say yes to acupuncture for pregnancy. Nonetheless, as any great doctor would admit, one should take caution in going through it. She mentioned some tips that could help me during pregnancy and I want to impart them to you. 

Before going through acupuncture, make sure to go to a licensed and famous clinic. This will already give you a third of the assurance you are looking for. Then, talk to your practitioner about your condition. Pregnancy is common, but each mother-to-be has differences during the process. Make sure that you clarify to her any medical conditions and apprehensions. At least with her, you get professional and medical advice. When you are fully ready to go through acupuncture even taking into account its possible risks, that’s when you start attending sessions. 

Lori Hoskens

View more posts from this author

Leave a Reply