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Natural Treatment for Placenta Previa What is Placenta Previa?
Placenta previa occurs in about 1 out of every 250 pregnancies. Many times, previa is detected
in the third trimester, but it’s sometimes spotted at as early as 17 weeks, usually either
in a routine ultrasound or because some bleeding or pain is occurring.
In this condition the placenta lies low in the uterus and may grow to partially or completely
cover the opening of the uterus, the cervix. There are two type of placenta previa – minor
and major. • Major: Placenta is in lower uterine segment,
but the lower edge does not cover the opening of the uterus.
• Minor: Placenta is in lower uterine segment, and the lower edge covers the opening of the
uterus. The concern with placenta previa is that the
placenta blocks the birth canal, either partially or completely. While you can have a vaginal
birth with placenta previa, the placenta could be pulled from the uterine wall when
the cervix dilates during labor. This could cause bleeding and potentially be harmful
to you and your baby, meaning a c-section delivery may be necessary.
Many cases of placenta previa resolve themselves as the uterus grows and the placenta naturally
moves upward. In more pronounced cases, the previa completely covers the cervical opening
and will not move far enough up, regardless of treatment. In these cases, a caesarian
section delivery is a necessary miracle. Because of the risks, if you’re planning
a home birth, placenta previa will need to be resolved before your midwife will give
the go ahead to birth at home. Chinese Medicine’s Approach to Placenta
Previa Debra Betts (2006) notes in her book, Acupuncture
in Pregnancy and Childbirth, Although it has been estimated that as many
as 30% of placentas on ultrasound are positioned low at 20 weeks gestation, less than 1% require
further monitoring by 32 weeks, with only a small proportion of these requiring any
medical intervention. Traditional Chinese Medicine views placenta
previa as “sinking Qi.” Additional symptoms that such a patient may experience might include
digestive complaints, frequent bruising, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and a tendency to depression.
The goal of treatment is raise and fortify the Qi, stop bleeding, and calm the fetus.
TCM Treatment for Placenta Previa TCM practitioners use two techniques in treatment
for placenta previa: herbal formulas and acupuncture. Usually, practitioners employ
a combination of these two treatments, which provide a safe treatment option that can
be effective in helping to resolve this condition in cases where the previa is minor.
• Herbal Formulas – An experienced TCM practitioner will administer an herbal formula
designed specifically for your condition. Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang is a classic Chinese formula
used for raising Qi. It’s very safe for pregnancy and is often used to prevent recurring
miscarriages as well as for treating placenta previa.
• Acupuncture – Acupuncture treatments are quite successful in minor cases of previa.
Your practitioner will recommend a schedule of acupuncture sessions to treat your individual
condition. Du 20 is the key acupuncture point for treating placenta previa. Located at the
very top of the head, and it’s very effective at raising Qi.
In my own acupuncture practice, I’ve treated many moms with placenta previa. In nearly all cases
of partial previa, the condition resolved itself while the patients were undergoing
regular weekly acupuncture and taking herbs daily.
In more pronounced cases where the placenta was too low lying to resolve, treatment helped
to improve the patients’ underlying imbalances which seemed to improved their overall health
and sense of wellbeing.