Acupuncture in pregnancy

Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment during pregnancy and can treat a variety of conditions:

• nausea and vomiting
• fatigue
• digestive problems
• high or low blood pressure
• anaemia
• dizziness and fainting
• oedema
• headaches, back ache, sciatica, pelvic girdle pain
• mood swings and depression
• rashes and itching
• restless legs
• night sweats
• varicose veins

Pre-natal support

Acupuncture and moxa can help encourage breech presentation babies to turn and is often recommended by midwifes and obstetricians from 34 weeks. This is provided that there are no risk factors such as:

  • pregnancy-induced hypertension or pre-eclampsia
  • placenta previa
  • presence of rhesus antibodies
  • unstable lie
  • previous caesarean section (under two years)
  • in the case of a multiple pregnancy
  • diabetes mellitus
  • known uterine or pelvic abnormality
  • history of pre-term labour or premature rupture of membranes
  • amniotic fluid complications

Preparation for labour and pre-birth acupuncture

Pre-birth acupuncture aims to promote natural labour by preparing the body and calming the mind for birth. Treatments focus on helping the pelvis to release and the cervix to soften and dilate.

Pre-birth acupuncture treatment can start from 37 weeks and acupuncture to help induce natural labour is used for women after 40 weeks. Acupressure can also be an effective tool in promoting natural labour. Here is a useful website with acupressure points by Debra Betts.

Post-natal support

Acupuncture can help restore the body’s energy reserves after the birth and Chinese Medicine encourages new mothers to rest as much as possible during the first 6 weeks.

Treatment during this time aims to:

  • restore and balance hormones
  • encourage the uterus to contract
  • minimise afterpains
  • help with ‘baby blues’ or post-natal depression
  • encourage milk flow
  • help with breast feeding problems and mastitis
  • help with post-partum bleeding
  • regulate temperature swings, night sweats
  • promote the healing of caesarean scar tissue