Acupuncture during Pregnancy

Acupuncture may relieve many of the discomforts a woman can experience during pregnancy.

When you become pregnant it’s a very exciting time however your body is undergoing changes that you have never experienced before if this is your first pregnancy

Pregnancy aches and pains

As the baby grows within you, your body goes through dramatic hormonal and physical changes.  We do acupuncture as a support treatment at any stage or trimester of your pregnancy with the aim to help you cope with these changes. For example, musculoskeletal problems may arise as your body grows to accommodate the growing baby. This is from the progesterone affecting the ligaments. The most common types of pain in pregnancy is back pain, pelvic pain, and shoulder and neck pain.

We diagnose you individually according to the principals of Chinese medicine and do acupuncture to suit the unique changes in your body. A lot of research has been done into the effects of acupuncture on pregnancy related aches and pains – a systematic review done in 2014 says that two low risk of bias acupuncture studies showed clinically and statistically that acupuncture may help low back and pelvic pain in pregnant women. [8]

 

 Morning Sickness

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can occur at any time of the day or night even though it is called “morning sickness”. It is most likely to occur in the first trimester but can continue on further into the pregnancy. Every woman is different so we will ask you about your signs and symptoms and observe your tongue and pulse and from this form a Chinese medicine diagnosis.

 

A randomised controlled trial with 593 women who were up to 14 weeks pregnant found acupuncture to be an effective treatment for women in early pregnancy who experienced nausea and dry retching [19]

Induction of Labour and Acupuncture

A pregnant woman may seek acupuncture from 38 weeks onwards to prepare her body for labour. This is not the same as medical induction of labour where synthetic oxytocin is given intravenously to bring on contractions. Medical induction is different to the acupuncture we do in the weeks and days leading up to labour.

Specific acupuncture points are chosen that would be contraindicated earlier in the pregnancy as they are thought to soften and ripen the cervix and  cause contractions, however, there has not been enough research evidence to support that acupuncture will induce labour. Electroacupuncture is also available.

 

Postnatal

Women who have had their baby are welcome to visit our clinic for acupuncture. Both mother and baby are welcome. Give us a call if you would like to talk about receiving acupuncture.