TCM in Pregnancy and Childbirth

TCM and Fertility / TCM in Pregnancy and Childbirth

TCM treatment during pregnancy:

Some conditions in pregnancy can be treated by the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine:

(a)  Recurrent Miscarriages

There had been a great interest looking at the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine in preventing recurrent miscarriages and improve live birth rates. The use of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture to prevent recurrent miscarriages had been widely practice amongst the Oriental Community. However, a randomised controlled trial to address the effectiveness of the treatment is eagerly awaited.

(b)  Hyperemesis gravidarum

The use of acupuncture to treat severe vomiting in early pregnancy (hyperemesis gravidarum) had been shown to be effective in some of the studies. In some of the European countries, Acupuncture had been integrated to Western Medical practice in this area.

(c) Induction of Labour

The use of Acupuncture for induction of labour had been shown to be effective.

(d)  Moxibustion for Breech

Following the publication of a large medical trial, obstetricians are now delivering babies presenting with breech via Caesarean section, in fear of the effect of vaginal birth to the wellbeing of the baby. Acupuncture and moxibustion had been shown to increase the chance of babies turning to head down position. A recent randomised controlled trial carried out in Spain showed that the use of acupuncture & moxibustion is effective and safe to correct non-vertex presentation. This in turn reduce the incidence of Caesarean section in women with babies presenting in breech.

(e) Pain relief in labour

TCM plays an important role in Chinese community to improve gestation period conditions such as pernicious vomiting, miscarriage, pregnancy-induced hypertension syndrome, abnormal amniotic fluid volume, abnormal fetus growth, etc.

TCM treatment after childbirth:

– postnatal depression

Chinese have a systematic confinement plan, which helps women recover from childbirth. TCM also helps improve conditions such as post-partum abdominal pain, fever, lochiorrhea, abnormal sweating, paruria, body pain, constipation, hypogalactia, hypergalactia.

References:

(1) Mao ZN, Liang CE. Observation on therapeutic effect of acupuncture on hyperemesis gravidarum. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2009 Dec;29(12):973-6.

(2) Fejzo MS, Magtira A, Schoenberg FP, MacGibbon K, Mullin P, Romero R, Tabsh K. Antihistamines and other prognostic factors for adverse outcome in hyperemesis gravidarum. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2013 Sep;170(1):71-6.

(3) Wegrzyniak LJ, Repke JT, Ural SH. Treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum. Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2012;5(2):78-84.

(4) Luo H, Liu JP, Li Q. Methodological issues and suggestions for improvement in randomized controlled trials of Chinese herbal medicine for recurrent miscarriage. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2012 Jun;10(6):604-14.

(5) Smith CA, Crowther CA, Grant SJ. Acupuncture for induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Aug 15;8:CD002962.

(6) Vas J, Aranda-Regules JM, Modesto M, Ramos-Monserrat M, Barón M, Aguilar I, Benítez-Parejo N, Ramírez-Carmona C, Rivas-Ruiz F. Using moxibustion in primary healthcare to correct non-vertex presentation: a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Acupunct Med. 2013 Mar;31(1):31-8. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2012-010261. Epub 2012 Dec 18.