(written by Sara G)
The topic of miscarriages does not get a lot of attention. Miscarriages are very common. A lot of time you would not know it, as it is often not talked about.
The majority of the fertility patients we see have trouble getting pregnant, but it is not uncommon for us to see some women who have trouble staying pregnant. This was the case for someone who came into our clinic last fall. She was a 39 year-old vibrant woman who despite her “advanced maternal age” had no trouble getting pregnant. In the last calendar year she had become pregnant three times. All of these pregnancies resulted in miscarriages between weeks 6 and 12.
As you can imagine, this was difficult for a multitude of reasons. The excitement of the positive pregnancy test was followed by crippling fear as time after time her pregnancies were cut short. Her doctor’s only advice was to keep trying. There was nothing hormonally or genetically wrong with the pregnancies. Clearly from a fertility standpoint she was fertile. She felt helpless and hopeless.
When she came into the clinic, she was interested in what acupuncture could do to help with the stress of the situation. She was surprised to hear that we have seen cases of recurrent miscarriages and that acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help reduce the stress and improve the chances of a full-term pregnancy. After six weeks of weekly treatments she became pregnant again. I focused on her diet and lifestyle choices, and based her acupuncture treatments around supporting another pregnancy. Throughout the first trimester I was able to calm her anxiety which was very high, with good reason.
Her baby has met all the pregnancy milestones without any concerns. She is now entering her last trimester and has continued regular acupuncture treatments throughout, not for fear of complications but as a way to keep her anxiety in check and to prepare her body for the delivery.
I look forward to the day she brings in her little baby! It is moments like this I really see the beauty of Chinese medicine.