Acupuncture Woes

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

I love(d) going to acupuncture. Although my pulses never really improved (as far as my practitioner could tell), it was one of the au naturel things I had been doing for 4 months before our precious miracle came to be. It is so relaxing, and I have full faith that it was doing good things within my body.

But now that I have to make sure that this little guy/girl stays bubble wrapped and safe inside, I couldn't make up my mind about continuing with acupuncture.

I fully believe that it moves energy around your body and increases circulation here and there and gets rid of blockages. And this is why it (now) makes me nervous.

Right now, my body is at a new steady state that is, from all indications so far, supporting a healthy baby. I worry that if we go poking meridian points that something of my steady state will get off and the baby won't like it.

I have no doubt that my acupuncturist is well-trained and knowledgeable about points that are definitely to be avoided during pregnancy. But what if there are unintended consequences of a supposedly-benign point? From what I have read, some practitioners prefer to treat after the first trimester is over or not until the third one.

I talked with my acupuncturist about this early last week, and she assured me that it is fine for women to receive acupuncture their whole pregnancy; there are points to relieve morning sickness and other uncomfortableness, and there is even a happy/beautiful baby point that supposedly assures you that your child will be the next poster baby for Gap.

I asked her if we could just do ear points, which are less systemic than body points. She didn't seem to think that body points were all bad, so we settled on a treatment plan (for last Thursday) that included the finest needles and relatively few points.

And then Banana decided to eat my vitamins.

So in all the craziness of trying to deal with her first day on fluids, and trying to see where she would go overnight, I canceled my acupuncture appointment last Thursday afternoon. I explained why in my message to her, but I never heard back. Yesterday, I emailed her with the gory details of Banana's continued hospitalization (at this point, I'm just hoping we can pick her up after our u/s on Thursday morning). My acupuncturist emailed me back a short "thanks for the update."

I am somewhat worried that she thinks I am making this doggie catastrophe up, or that I am exaggerating the circumstances. Because how "convenient" would it be for me to have "something" come up when she knows I was nervous about being needled while pregnant.

Blah. I am even back to wondering if I even want to go during the first trimester. Am I being too cautious?

PS. Thank you to whoever submitted our happy news to LFCA! Or however they found out! :)


Sky said...

I don't know anything about acupuncture, but I do think you should go with your instincts. You could wait until your first trimester is over, and then reconsider it at that point.

I hope your pregnancy continues healthily and that Banana makes a full recovery! :-)

Anonymous said...

a) I think I would have similar concerns. You just don't want to mess anything up--totally understandable.

b) Your doctor shouldn't be making you do anything you don't feel comfortable with. End of. She can voice her opinions but in the end it's your decision.

c) She might just be busy and that's why she hasn't said much. Maybe she's not a dog person ;)

Bridget said...

I have thought about this too- I don't think I will do accupuncture when I get pregnant. It makes me nervous. It sucks that your acupuncturist is making you feel this way. Go with your gut.

Coco said...

Okay, I'm all about accupuncture and TCM. I think your practitioner is probably right, that it would be fine.... however, the most important thing in energywork is intention. Energy follows intention. If you are having doubts, then it's for a reason. You need to follow and honor your own comfort level with this one. Don't do anything that you're not sure of. Even if it would be "safe" if your intention energy is not in alignment then there's no point. Feel safe. Follow your gut. Protect that baby.

Totally don't worry about her being offended or anything. If she gets offended that easily then she's not someone who should practice accupuncture. She probably just doesn't know what to say. I mean, how do you respond to "my dog ate my vitamins?" haha. Not a typical scenario to be sure. :)

Hang in there and cancel your appointments until you feel right about it. She should absolutely respect that.

Noelle said...

I would stop and go with your instincts. When I did acupuncture, it did some very weird things to my body that were not good. My acupuncturist said it was getting rid of blockages, but it really caused some bad things.

*Please-nobody get angry when I say this...

They are not doctors, as in an MD. (maybe yours is?) Still, I just don't feel comfortable with the thought of needles in my body while I am pregnant. And I did acupuncture for about 5 months, once a week. My acupuncturist said that it would head off a miscarriage. Please.

Anyway, go with your gut. She shouldn't be trying to convince you to stick with it.

Whatever you do, I am sure you will make the right decision for you and your baby, even if you continue to go.

Anonymous said...

i'm so sorry about banana! hope she's doing well when you pick her up this week!

just so you know, i continued acupuncture throughout my 1st trimester. my acupuncturist specialized in fertility and he knew how to change things up the moment i got my BFP. i felt comfortable with him and i think that's what counts. if you do think you could benefit from destressing or something but you don't trust your current acu with pregnancy treatment, perhaps find one that specializes in that area?

i don't plan on going back until i have specific things that need treatment (constipation, swelling, aches, etc.). acu can also help with moving labor along later on if needed.

good luck with your decision!

Trisha said...

You know how you feel best so I would go with my gut on this one. You can always talk to your doctor too and see what they think. I hope B gets to come home soon!

Jess said...

Don't do anything you will be nervous about and worry about afterwards. Ask your doctor/do some research if still contemplating...and, it can't hurt to put it off for a few months. Just replace it with meditation/pregnancy yoga or whatever else puts you at that relaxation state that won't be harmful for baby.

Holly said...

I don't know what kind of relationship you have with your acupuncturist (is that the right term?) but you shouldn't have to worry that she thinks your bailing on her for trumped up reasons! That would be so unprofessional of her, if she really did feel that way, because, even if she knew everything was fine and safe, YOU don't, and you're the one that needs convincing (not saying I'm for or against acu while pregnant, I just don't know enough about it.) She should really know better than to try to convince you that it's fine, and should just accept that you feel a certain way about it, so you part ways for a few months until you're in the 3rd tri and are getting ready to have this miracle baby. I have heard about big benefits in terms of putting you into labour, so I'd definitely revisit the idea as you're nearing the end of this pregnancy!

Anonymous said...

I did not continue going after I got pregnant. While I liked the lady that I was seeing and she specialized in fertility and worked closely with my fertility clinic, I didn't feel comfortable going after my BFP. I had only been going though through that IVF cycle and really wasn't attached to going. If that makes sense. I did go back once at around 14 weeks for morning sickness and a cyst that they found, but that was it.

Maegan said...

I don't have any experience with acupuncture or pregnancy, but I would say trust your instincts here. And I know the feeling of wondering whether someone's irritated/skeptical/offended with you, but in my experience I am almost ALWAYS imagining it.

The Martins said...

A, I did acupuncture the last time I was pregnant and it helped me tremendously. As others have said, I saw one who specialized in fertility. We lost the babies due to chromosomal issues, but I would do acupuncture again and if I ever get the joy of making it to labor, I'd see one then too to help move things along. But you do whatever you think is right.