Acupuncture during pregnancy

Acupuncture during pregnancy can help in many ways.

Acupuncture for Nausea

Acupuncture is often very effective in reducing both the severity and incidence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Research has highlighted that women receiving traditional acupuncture (where points where chosen according to an individual diagnosis) experienced faster relief when compared to those groups receiving routine prescribed points or “sham” acupuncture. This research also looked at the successful pregnancy outcomes for the women involved, concluding that “acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy”.

Muscular-Skeletal Pain  

Back pain, rib pain, sciatica and symphysis pubis pain are common in pregnancy and can all be markedly reduced with acupuncture. Research from Sweden concluded that when compared to physiotherapy, acupuncture was the treatment of choice for symphysis pubis and sacroiliac pain.

Breech BabiesImage result for moxibustion sticks

The New Zealand Evidence Based practice guidelines for care of women with Breech presentation recommends that moxibustion may be offered to women from 33 weeks gestation. This follows research from Italy that demonstrated  moxibustion can have a significant effect in helping to turn breech babies. Ideally treatment is at 34 –35 weeks, but can still be useful when used later in the pregnancy. Techniques can also help babies that are not in the optimal position prior to birth, such as those in a posterior position.


Acupuncture can have an important role in assisting to reduce high blood pressure, especially if treatment is commenced early when hypertension is first noted. The effectiveness of acupuncture will be reflected in the improved blood pressure readings and blood tests used by midwives and specialists to detect possible complications. As hypertension has the potential to escalate quickly, ongoing medical monitoring remains essential throughout pregnancy.

Client testimonial

I came to see Preethi for severe pain due to symphysis pubis dysfunction. I was unable to walk for more than 5 minutes without having to sit down. Preethi used acupuncture on my feet and hands and after the first treatment my pain went down by 75%. After the second treatment, I had no pain unless I had been on my feet the whole day. It was unbelievable. It made the latter stages of my pregnancy much more enjoyable. I recommended my friend with the same condition to see Preethi.

-TC, 29 (first time mum)


Acupuncture in preparation for labour and birth

Preparing your body to give birth acupuncture-and-pregnancy

Acupuncture can help prepare your body to give birth and possibly have an easier labour. Three to four weeks prior to the due date, treatment to prepare the pelvis and cervix can be commenced. This is followed by one treatment per week until labour begins. It can be surprisingly relaxing for the mother to be.

Research from Germany indicated with this treatment there is potential for a more efficient active stage of labour.  A New Zealand study with midwives indicated a reduction in women requiring medical intervention, including medical induction and caesarean section.

Labour Induction

Acupuncture can provide a gentle inducement to labour if the baby is overdue and can be an effective alternative to a medical induction. Research from Norway on the use of acupuncture for women with premature rupture of membranes (PROM) concluded that “Ideally acupuncture treatment should be offered to all women with PROM and other women who wish to use this method to facilitate their birth and keep it normal”.


Client testimonial

“I met Preethi to find out about “pre-birth” treatments and how beneficial they can be. So when it came closer to my due date I decided to have the weekly treatments. I had had quite a difficult first birth and wanted to do everything possible to make the second one easier. The treatments were very relaxing and I went into labour on my due date. Amazingly labour took just 3 hours and I had the perfect home birth, as planned! I am so glad that I had the treatments. Even though nothing is guaranteed I felt relaxed knowing that I had done everything I could to help. I would definitely recommend the treatments, if only to relax and prepare you for the wonderful event.” – LK, 32


Acupuncture and moxibustion after the birth

Using acupuncture and moxibustion after the birth to nourish the new mother:

Postnatal care

Acupuncture has techniques to promote recovery; these include “mother warming” treatments and advice on diet to energise new mothers and aid in recovery, to build strength to continue to take care of the baby. Some of the techniques can be taught to you so that they can be done at home with the help of a partner or a family member. Best done 4 to 5 days after the birth of the baby.

Other conditions that can be helped by acupuncture include:

  • insufficient lactation
  • mastitis
  • night sweats
  • scar tissue repair
  • postnatal depression
  • urinary incontinence
Image result for moxibustion sticks