Pregnancy is both an exciting and anxiety-provoking experience for a couple. Once pregnant, a woman goes through dramatic physical and emotional changes. By understanding and preparing her body for the changes and acquiring the know-how in maximizing her own health and that of the fetus, a woman can experience her pregnancy in a meaningful and enjoyable way…”

As soon as a woman gets pregnant, her menstruation stops due to an increase in estrogen level in her body. In some women, implantation spotting might occur from the time of implantation (about 6 days after fertilization) until 29-35 days after the last menstrual period. Approximately 50% of women will have nausea and vomiting at 2-12 weeks’ gestation. These symptoms can occur any time of the day and may be precipitated by strong odors and other seemingly benign smells. Emotional tension and stress can also increase the level of nausea and vomiting. Breast tenderness ranging from tingling to pain can be common, as well as circulatory changes that may cause breast engorgement, varicose and spider veins. The nipples and areola get darker and become enlarged. Colostrum secretion from the breast occurs after 16 weeks’ gestation.

The perception of fetal movement occurs at 18-20 weeks in the first pregnancy and
14-16 weeks in subsequent pregnancies. Increased urinary bladder pressure and discomfort can occur
due to enlargement of the uterus. Urinary tract infections are twice as likely
compared to non-pregnant women. Persistent raised basal body temperature will
last throughout the entire pregnancy. This is why summers and hot weather are
dreaded by pregnant women. Darkening of the skin and stretch marks may appear.
Increased thickness of mucus linings can create more sinus congestion and

This doesn’t sound like fun at all! But it doesn’t have to be so miserable going
through pregnancy because there are safe and effective treatments for the symptoms. Some women have
a relatively smooth pregnancy with minimal symptoms and discomfort, but then,
there are some who cannot wait to get the pregnancy over. There are various
reasons that determine whether or one is going to have an easy or
difficult pregnancy. It begins with genetics. By looking back at one’s mother’s
pregnancy experience and history, we can get some idea of how it will be for
the mother-to-be. Life style and diet factors can also play a role. Stressful
and unhealthy living habits such as abuse of alcohol, smoking, caffeine and
sugar may also affect the pregnancy experience. A difficult first pregnancy, especially
with nausea and vomiting, will most likely result in a difficult subsequent

For centuries, Chinese medicine has been used to relieve many
symptoms and complications during pregnancy. Chinese Medicine has been used to
manage symptoms ranging from nausea and vomiting to gestational diabetes,
management of fibroid, common colds, low back pain, low fetal weight and
others. Acupuncture and specific herbs are safe and can be quite effective. For nausea and vomiting
during pregnancy, acupuncture treatments, ginger tea and acupressure wristbands
can offer relief. In some severe cases, acupuncture treatments may not be able to
eliminate all of the symptoms, but frequently a reduction of the intensity of these
symptoms can be expected.

Usage of herbs such as ginger, cardamom, astragalus and others have been shown to be
helpful in many patients.

Thereare also Chinese Medicine treatments for prevention of miscarriage and
management of placenta previa. Some cases of cervical leakage can be stopped.
The more common condition of back pain  should be managed during early onset with acupuncture and Tui Na massage.

Temporary relief of back pain can be achieved especially in the third trimester of
gestation. In the case of breech in the last month of pregnancy, a simple and safe
procedure involving acupuncture and moxibustion (heating acupoints with the herb
mugwort) of an acupoint on the feet has resulted in an over 90% effective
rate in studies done in China, thus averting cesarean section.

Whether you are considering pregnancy or are currently pregnant, talk to doctor Li
about making the experience a healthful one for you and your baby. In summary, Chinese
medicine can be an effective and safe tool for the successful management of various pregnancy
symptoms with absence of side effects to the mother and the fetus.



About the author: ChineseHerbalAdviser