Pregnancy is a very emotional time, and mood swings, irritability, weepiness, fear and joy can often be par for the course, however for some women these emotions can become overwhelming, and develop into periods of anxiety and depression. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can be very effective in helping manage anxiety and depression, as it acts on the area of the brain that reduces sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promotes relaxation and deactivation of the ‘analytical’ brain, responsible for anxiety and worry (Hui 2010).
Symptoms which may suggest that emotions are more than just a response to hormonal changes include “exaggerated mood swings, marked sleep disturbance, changed eating habits such as loss of appetite for prolonged periods of time and that is not related to pre-existing nausea or morning sickness, prolonged or unusual periods of fatigue or high energy, and extended loss of interest in activities normally enjoyed” (Betts 2006, P87). If these symptoms continue for more than two weeks, it is a good idea to seek help from a trained medical professional such as your midwife, a counsellor, a doctor or specialist who may recommend medications that are safe during pregnancy. Acupuncture and Qi Gong meditation exercises can assist this process by offering a natural means of releasing stress, calming emotions and achieving a more balanced emotional state.