Ever had an experience, learned something afterward, and thought, ‘Wow, that would have been nice to have known back then!’?
That’s how we feel after reading a new study about how ear seeds can help control weight gain during pregnancy.
Kaci, our CEO and Founder, gains several pounds when pregnant (and consequently has babies in the 10 to 12 pound range).
She’s stayed healthy throughout all of her pregnancies, but the weight is increasingly harder to shed during the postpartum period with each child. So weight management during pregnancy, rather than waiting until after the baby is born, is optimal.
Why it’s important to control weight gain during pregnancy
Seven reasons to control weight gain during pregnancy:
- Healthy development: Excessive weight gain can lead to an increased risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia, which can negatively impact both the mother and the baby’s health.
- Fetal well-being: Maintaining a healthy weight helps ensure that the fetus receives adequate nutrients and oxygen, promoting proper growth and development.
- Smoother labor and delivery: Excessive weight gain may lead to complications during labor and delivery, such as a higher likelihood of requiring a cesarean section (C-section) or experiencing a difficult delivery.
- Postpartum recovery: Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can make it more challenging to lose excess weight after childbirth, which can contribute to long-term health issues.
- Maternal health: Healthy weight management reduces the risk of developing obesity-related complications, such as cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes, in the postpartum period.
- Psychological well-being: Controlling weight gain can positively impact a pregnant woman’s self-esteem and mental health, promoting a more positive pregnancy experience.
- Long-term child health: Children born to mothers who gain excessive weight during pregnancy may have a higher risk of childhood obesity and related health problems.
Ear seeds as a solution to control weight gain during pregnancy?
Staying on top of weight management during pregnancy is easier said than done for a lot of us.
Individual maternal weight gain rates depend on several different factors: diet and nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress — all or most of which play a role in weight management even when we’re not pregnant.
But even when everything is reined in, it can still be a challenge to control weight gain during pregnancy.
Here’s where this article gets exciting…
Researchers found that using ear seeds to stimulate specific weight control points of the ear helped to control weight gain during pregnancy.
“Weight in the intervention group immediately two and four weeks after the end of the intervention was significantly less than that in the placebo group, indicating that this method had more than just momentary effects,” the study’s authors wrote.
The authors believe this may be the first study that looks at the impact of auriculotherapy on weight management of pregnant women. So this is truly a landmark study that should appeal to many.
Ear acupressure points used to control weight gain during pregnancy
This study followed the typical methodology. It compared the intervention group (with ear seeds on targeted ear points) against the control group (with no ear seeds, just adhesive stickers on the ears).
These were the four ear acupressure points used in the intervention group:
The intervention group’s earseeding lasted five weeks, with seeds reapplied two times per week. Participants were asked to apply moderate pressure to their seeded ear points six times per day for a minute each time (so, double the frequency of our baseline 4-3-1 rule).
The weight of participants in both groups was recorded as soon as the five-week intervention ended and then again at two and at four weeks after the intervention.
As mentioned above, not only did the auricular acupressure substantially help to control weight gain during pregnancy in the five weeks of the intervention — the effects were lasting too (at least four weeks after the intervention ended)!
Are ear seeds safe during pregnancy?
This is question is an important one. As is the case with any new treatment, and especially during pregnancy, we recommend you consult with your healthcare provider.
We do not give medical advice; our content is for informational and educational purposes only. That being said, here’s what the study’s authors said in their conclusion: “Because auriculotherapy did not have any side effects, this treatment could be a safe method for the mother, fetus, and baby with easy access and low cost for people with low-risk pregnancies.”
If you’re interested in trying to use ear seeds to help control weight gain during pregnancy, discuss this article with your healthcare provider during your next prenatal appointment. If you get sign off, we’d love for you to visit our ear seeds shop and order an ear seeds kit from us!
Gaillard, R., Durmuş, B., Hofman, A., Mackenbach, J.P., Steegers, E.A.P., & Jaddoe, V.W.V. (2013). Risk factors and outcomes of maternal obesity and excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Obesity, 21, 1046-1055. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.20088
Rezvanimagham, M., Siahkal, S. F., & Ebrahimi, E. (2023). The Effect of Auriculotherapy on an Overweight Pregnant Women’s Weight-Gaining Pattern: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2023, 7192142. https://doi.org/10.1155/2023/7192142