"A pregnant woman carries within her the finest piece of jade.
She should enjoy all things, look at fine pictures and be attended by handsome servants"
Admonitions to Ladies, an ancient Chinese text
Acupuncture can help a newly pregnant woman to shift into a new emotional space. A positive pregnancy test signals new challenges on the horizon. Many find it difficult to slow down and change their behaviour to suit their new status. They forget to rest more and adjust their diet and lifestyle. In the first fragile months, most of us prefer to savour the happy news, and even find it difficult to share the excitement, frustration, happiness, and worries with the nearest and dearest. The array of emotions can be quite overwhelming, fueled by hormonal changes, morning sickness, sleepiness, cravings for strange foods, and the emotional isolation we often impose on ourselves until the 12 week check-up.
The first trimester, the transition into pregnancy, can be a lonely time for a new mother, and both the joys and the burden of it usually fall exclusively on her partner's shoulders, which is also a big endurance test. You do not look pregnant, and there is no hope for sympathy from family or friends (unless you have told them), let alone strangers (although you will take their sympathy for granted by the eighth month). Nobody understands why you suddenly rush out of the room, and you are worried that people will see your bump before you are ready to announce. The biggest fear, of course, is whether the pregnancy will even survive until the second trimester.
Nowadays, armed with the latest research and statistics (including the notorious threat of first trimester pregnancy loss), women tend instinctively to protect themselves from emotional trauma - which is no more than "statistically possible" - by avoiding bonding with their baby until after week 12. By that time, the baby is fully formed and, in a way, has spent its deepest formative weeks with the mother's anxious heart pounding overhead. In my experience, this anxiety is very common in the first trimester and has to be addressed for the sake of both the future mother-child relationship and the subsequent child-world relationship.
Cultivating a positive outlook, avoiding negative emotions and experiences, making sure that sufficient human contact is maintained so the heart is nourished with happiness - these are just a few pregnancy tips. Look actively for support groups, from dedicated chat-rooms to pregnancy yoga classes. Surround yourself with "handsome servants" - your acupuncturist, nutritionist, aromatherapist, counselor, as well as close friends - whoever you feel will give you what you need (see links).
Research papers on Acupuncture in pregnancy:
|| Pregnancy support
Preparation for labour
| Postpartum care
- morning sickness
- back pain
- repeated miscarriage
- softening the cervix
- breach presentation
- Courses for birthing partners:
- Acupressure for labour
- Courses for new parents:
- Japanese Baby massage