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Advice & Encouragement wikipregnancy.comDid you get pregnant after your partner started taking zinc supplements? Was the ovulation kit more trouble than it was worth? This is the place to offer -- and seek -- advice about how to become pregnant. 

Pre-pregnancy health checks  
Lifestyle changes  
Timing sex  
Fertility supplements  
Acupuncture, meditation, and other non-traditional cures 




Pregnancy Symptoms by Trimester

The First Trimester: Week 1 - Week 12

  • Lower abdominal cramps.
  • Food cravings.
  • Nausea or "Morning sickness" - 3-10 weeks after conception.
  • Tender, swollen breasts - 3-4 weeks after conception.
  • Your nipples and the area around the nipples get darker and wider.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Fatigue and tiredness - 3-10 weeks after conception.
  • You may have heartburn and constipation - along with headaches.
  • Mood swings.

Other Early Symptoms of Pregnancy in Detail

Cravings for Particular Foods
Desiring particular or unusual types of food is a well known pregnancy symptom. About 85 percent of women report at least one food craving during pregnancy.

Implantation Cramping and Spotting
Following ovulation by 8 days, women may experience cramping and slight spotting - caused by the recent implantation of the egg in the uterine lining.

Frequent Urination
Following implantation, frequent urination is a common symptom.

Fatigue, Headaches, and Heartburn - and Morning Sickness
For many women, early symptoms of pregnancy can be a bit perturbing. Fatigue is common, as are headaches and heartburn. And then there is morning sickness - the second most well know pregnancy symptoms after "food cravings". Increases in progesterone can also cause feelings of tiredness.

Basal Body Temperature
If you are charting your Basal Body Temperature, and your BBT remains high - and continues to remain high for 15 days or more without a period - this is a clear symptom of pregnancy.

hCG Testing
Home Pregnancy Tests are available online and at your drugstore. A positive result will confirm your suspicions! Some FDA approved tests (available online) allow you to determine pregnancy as early as 7-10 days past ovulation.

The Second Trimester: Week 13 - Week 26

Here is what you can expect to experience during your second trimester.

  • Weight gain - and, after 16 weeks, fetal movement!
  • Dryness of the skin on the stomach. Feelings of tightness.
  • Breasts become larger.
  • Continued heartburn and constipation.
  • Edema - or the swelling of your ankles, hands, feet, and face.
  • A dark line may appear between your belly and pubic regions.










recommended community resource 

Planning a Pregnancy

Planning a Pregnancy - wikiPregnancyThe decision to have a baby is one of the biggest you will make in your lifetime. If you are planning ahead, there are a few things you can do to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. As always, if the information you're looking for isn't here, suggest a new topic -- or create a new page. Join, participate with


Chinese Medicice  


Pregnancy Preparedness Program

Many women have spent a portion of their adult lives preventing pregnancy, waiting for the right moment. Ideally we want to be optimally healthy when we are ready to conceive. We want to make sure our bodies have all the essential vitamins and minerals at the cellular level, and we want to regulate our menstrual cycles by balancing our hormones. This program helps women and men to conceive whether they are attempting to get pregnant with or without reproductive technologies. It is for those who want to be at their best for pregnancy.

For Women Coming Off Birth Control Pills or Who Have Irregular Menstrual Cycles
If a woman has been on the contraceptive pill for many years there can be a number of reasons other than birth control. Many Doctors will prescribe the pill to a woman for bad menstrual cramps, irregular periods, heavy bleeding, no bleeding, endometriosis, acne, recurring cysts, and others. In fact, the pill is the only tool besides other drugs and surgery that allopathic Doctors give to manage a woman’s cycle.

When a woman wants to have a baby and goes off the pill the underlying issues need to be addressed. For example, irregular periods need to be regulated. If a woman isn’t ovulating, this needs to be fixed. If a woman is on the pill for just birth control then when she goes off the pill her own body’s hypothalamus/pituitary/ovarian axis needs to be re-established. Simply speaking, her body needs to turn on.

Chinese Medicine offers wonderful ways to regulate a woman’s cycle. Herbs, nutritional supplements, acupuncture, lifestyle changes are all ways to help achieve pregnancy. The above tools can help regulate a woman’s cycle and help turn on her body.

Making it Happen
There are women who have not taken the pill and are having trouble conceiving. Everything seems to be working fine but pregnancy doesn’t occur right away. This can create a lot of anxiety and fear. A woman will often say,” what is wrong with me that I can not get pregnant?”. In this situation there should be a thorough evaluation from an OB-Gyn or reproductive endocrinologist.

In some instances the Doctor will recommend IUI’s (Intra-uterine-insemination) or IVF’s (Invitro fertilization). Even with ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies), this Preganancy Preparation Program can help increase a woman’s chances of conception and delivering a healthy baby

90 Days
It is important to allow 70-90 days (3 cycles) to prepare the body to conceive.. Why? Because It takes about 90 days for your ovaries to make the follicles that contain your eggs. Your egg quality today is a reflection of the follicles health 3 months ago. The stresses, diet and lifestyle you had 90 days ago will be reflected in today’s eggs. Many women over 40, even when preparing for IVF, do not want to waste any time. They want to be pregnant yesterday. As any good farmer knows, in order to have a good harvest you must start with good quality fertilized soil. The seeds must have the proper soil to germinate. The same is true for pregnancy. We must prepare properly. That is why it takes approximately 90 days. This time frame may vary if a woman has a complicated case.

What About Men
According to the National Institutes of Health, male infertility is involved in approximately 40% of the 2.6 million infertile couples in the United States. Research has shown that acupuncture, Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements can significantly improve sperm quantity, motility and morphology.
Sperm maturation averages 70-90 days. Therefore, It is essential for men to receive treatment (herbs, supplements, acupuncture) for at least 3 months prior to starting a family.

The Pregnancy Preparedness Program Includes:

  • Custom herbal preparations written based upon analyzing basal your body temperature charts and other medical tests.
  • Nutritional recommendations including eating guidelines as well as supplement recommendations.
  • Testing, when appropriate. These tests can be adrenal stress tests, hormonal tests or any other tests deemed appropriate for the individual.
  • Lifestyle recommendations including ways to cope with stress, relaxation tools, Breathing, and mind/body awareness.
  • Exercise recommendations including Yoga, , Qi Gong,
  • Aerobic exercise.
  • Acupuncture and massage treatments.

There are a number of important steps to consider for every couple to optimize conception and the health of their baby.

  • Reevaluate health and lifestyle. For example, stop smoking and reduce caffeine consumption
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Detoxify when appropriate to reduce the effect of pollutants
  • Eating organic foods particularly meats, and reducing/eliminating processed foods
  • Take a good quality prenatal vitamin
  • Take nutrients and herbs to maximize sperm production

Click Here to go to our Main Pregnancy Page.


Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can effectively be used in many stages of pregnancy. There has been published research in the following areas:

Nausea and vomiting
Turning breech positioned babies
Labor induction



Other areas where Chinese Medicine can be safely and successfully used are:

Pregnancy related back pain/sciatica
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Pregnancy massage
“Happy Baby” acupuncture treatment

Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy
At our clinic we use acupuncture to help women get immediate relief from nausea. The NIH (National Institute of Health) Consensus statement on acupuncture (1997) reviewed all the available studies on acupuncture and found that acupuncture is effective and safe for nausea. All studies reviewed showed that acupuncture is safe to use in pregnancy.

Treatment with Chinese Medicine for nausea:
2-3x per week uncomplicated cases
Treatment daily for protracted, difficult cases
herbs/homeopathics/home remedies are sometimes recommended.

Breech Presentation
At our clinic we have had a 90% success rate in turning breech position babies. Use of Chinese Medicine to correct breech position has been used since ancient times. A large study published in JAMA (Journal of The American Medical Association) has validated this effective treatment. See study.
Cardini F, Weixin H. Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1580-4.

How breech position is treated:
An empirical point on the small toe has been known for centuries for its effect on the fetus. Moxibustion (Mugwort herb rolled into a cigar-like stick) is burned over this acu-point to heat the area. The technique is safe, simple, non-invasive, painless and well tolerated.
This is best done after 34 weeks. Treatment is performed everyday for 7 days followed by ultrasound and continued if necessary.

Acupuncture to Induce Labor
Acupuncture can be used to induce labor for uncomplicated, healthy pregnancies. This includes no prior C-sections. It is important to work with your nurse midwife or Ob/gyn during this period to monitor health of the baby and the integrity of the amniotic fluid. See study.
Lee H, Ernst E. Acupuncture for labor pain management: A systematic review. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Nov;191(5):1573-9.

Acupuncture helps put a woman in control of her labor. Initiate acupuncture treatment 5-14 days after due date. Research has found that it takes 30-60 hours to start labor with acupuncture.
Acupuncture for labor induction is about trying something natural to promote labor. Once a woman is induced by medical means it leads to more intense contractions because the natural pain-killing endorphins do not have a chance to build up.

Pregnancy-Related Back Pain/Sciatica
Many women experience back pain/sciatica due to postural changes as their pregnancy progresses. Acupuncture and massage can help alleviate the pain.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
As pregnancy progresses some women get swelling leading to carpal tunnel. Many MD’s recommend acupuncture and pregnancy massage as a safe alternative to treat this condition. See review study.
Goodyear-Smith F, Arroll B. What can family physicians offer patients with carpal tunnel syndrome other than surgery? A systematic review of nonsurgical management. Ann Fam Med. 2004 May-Jun;2(3):267-73. Review.

We have consulted with many pregnant women who are suffering from colds and coughs while pregnant. We can provide an alternative treatment to help mom.

Pregnancy Massage
A nourishing and pain relieving treatment by a trained specialist. Massage by a knowledgeable therapist can be done throughout pregnancy. The acupressure points that are contraindicated during pregnancy are avoided. See Study.
Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Diego M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C. Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. Int J Neurosci. 2005 Oct;115(10):1397-413.

Happy Baby Treatment
There is a special acupuncture treatment protocol used at 3 and 6 months of pregnancy to promote happy babies.

See our Pregnancy Preparedness Program