There has been a rapid influx on the demand for Acupuncture and Moxibustion during pregnancy. It treats a wide range of common pregnancy related conditions such as nausea/ vomiting, headache, carpel tunnel syndrome, sciatica, anxiety, depression, constipation and haemorrhoids.
Acupuncture is used often towards the end of pregnancy to help support cervical ripening and progress of labour.
For Breech pregnancy, treatment with Moxibustion is becoming more popular, as women prefer to use natural methods of maintaining a healthy pregnancy and in preparation for natural labour.
Moxibustion has been shown to increase fetal activity at around seven minutes after the start of the procedure until just after the treatment ends (Budd, 2000; Maciocia, 1998).
In addition to this there is an increase in placental oestrogens and prostaglandin levels, which causes an increase in uterine contractility and therefore moxa (moxibustion) is also used to aid the labour process (Maciocia, 1998).
Presently in Ireland, the use of Acupuncture and Moxibustion during pregnancy within Maternity clinics and the hospital setting, has yet to develop.
Acupuncture in Obstetrics is widely used within our neighbouring health facilities such as the NHS/UK. It is used also in hospitals and maternity clinics in Europe, America and worldwide.
Catherine is currently part of a Obstetrics in Acupuncture research mentorship programme.