Early Signs of Pregnancy
Pregnancy symptoms differ from pregnancy to pregnancy. Some women experience pregnancy symptoms within a week of conception and some experience few to no symptoms at all. Below is a listing of the most common pregnancy symptoms:
- Implantation Bleeding: About 6-12 days after conception, some women experience cramping snd spotting as the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall.
- Delay/Difference in Menstruation: A delayed or missed menstruation is the most common symptom of pregnancy. Many women can bleed while they are pregnant, but typically the bleeding will be shorter or lighter than a normal period.
- Swollen/Tender Breasts: Beginning as early as 1-2 weeks after conception, many women may experience swollen or tender breasts.
- Fatigue/Tiredness: Fatigue is a common symptom of pregnancy and may start as early as the first week after conception.
- Nausea/Morning Sickness: Beginning 2-8 weeks after conception, many women experience nausea.
- Backaches: Many women experience lower backaches or a dull backache throughout the entire pregnancy.
- Headaches: The sudden rise of hormones during pregnancy can cause headaches.
- Frequent Urination: Frequent urination is common in pregnant women and often begins 6-8 weeks after conception.
- Darkening of Areolas: The skin around the nipples may get darker when pregnant.
- Food Cravings: Food cravings are common while pregnant.
Major Benefits of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture During Each Trimester of Pregnancy
First Trimester: During the first trimester, Chinese medicine and acupuncture are used to help prevent miscarriage and provide a stabilizing effect on the pregnancy, balance the endocrine system, and regulate the hormones produced during pregnancy. Our protocol involves the use of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutritional guidance and modification to help minimize nausea, morning sickness, fatigue, migraines, bleeding, and spotting that are experienced during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Second Trimester: During the second trimester, Chinese medicine and acupuncture are used to regulate the digestive and nervous systems, as well as the endocrine system, all of which are necessary to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Our protocol involves the use of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutritional guidance and modification to help maintain balance and alleviate heartburn, hemorrhoids, edema, elevated blood pressure, and stress. Again, all of these beneficial effects help prevent a miscarriage.
Third Trimester: During the third trimester, Chinese medicine and acupuncture are used to regulate the musculoskeletal system to provide relief from sciatica, backache, pubic and joint pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Continued support is provided for the endocrine system to address such symptoms as elevated blood pressure and edema. Treatment during this trimester also encourages the proper positioning of the baby for birth and helps normalize and optimize labor. Our protocol involves the use of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutritional guidance and modification to improve the physical and emotional health of the mother both before and during labor. Research shows that women who use acupuncture experience shortened labor times with fewer complications, reduced rate of caesarean, and less need for the use of oxytocin, pain medications and epidurals. Providers at Nurture Acupuncture are available during labor at the hospital or at the patient’s home.
Postpartum: Postpartum Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help replenish and restore balance to a woman’s body, shrink the uterus, stop bleeding, alleviate backaches, encourage lactation, alleviate migraines, reduce fatigue, and alleviate postpartum depression. Our protocol involves the use of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, moxibustion (the external warming application of the single herb, mugwort, at acupressure points on the body), and Nutritional guidance to promote a faster recovery after delivery.
Conditions in Pregnancy that may be improved by Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture
- Morning sickness
- Spotting or break through bleeding
- Backaches and sciatica
- Anxiety and depression
- Gestational hypertension
- Gestational Diabetes
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Threatened / Recurrent miscarriage
- Breech presentation
- Premature labor
- Promotes contractions during labor
- Labor pain
- Labor induction
- Postpartum depression
- Blocked ducts/mastitis
- Lactation problems
Research and Related Articles on Pregnancy
Interventions for preventing and treating pelvic and back pain in pregnancy.
Pennick V1, Liddle SD.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Aug 1;8:CD001139. doi:
A systematic review investigating the effectiveness of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for the management of low back and/or pelvic pain (LBPP) in pregnancy.
Close C1, Sinclair M, Liddle SD, Madden E, McCullough JE, Hughes C.
J Adv Nurs. 2014 Mar 9. doi: 10.1111/jan.12360. [Epub ahead of print]