Valued in Chinese medicine since ancient times, pregnancy acupuncture is today often used as an adjunct to conventional medical care.
By balancing the Qi (energy) in your body, pregnancy acupuncture aims to facilitate the free flow of energy, for optimal health and wellbeing in you and your unborn baby.
Many women find acupuncture to be calming, and a great way to ensure their body receives extra support and care while it undertakes the mammoth task of creating a new life.
Common Pregnancy Symptoms
At a time when other treatment options for pain and pregnancy-related symptoms are limited, acupuncture may help with common complaints such as:
Morning sickness – It is estimated that 50-70% of women will experience nausea, vomiting and/or dry retching during pregnancy, however evidence suggests that acupuncture is useful in reducing these symptoms without adverse side effects (1).
Lower back and pelvic pain – Extremely common during pregnancy, these aches and pains may occur due to changes in your posture as your body adapts to the ever-increasing load. They may also be attributed to the softening of your ligaments and joints in preparation for birth.
Heartburn and indigestion – Again, these may be a result of increased progesterone, the hormone that relaxes your muscles during pregnancy. This allows acid to rise into the oesophagus, a problem which may worsen as your baby grows.
Sore and swollen limbs – During pregnancy, you may experience a build-up of fluid in places like your feet and ankles, leading to sore and aching legs; as well as your wrists, which may cause pain, tingling or numbness in your hands and fingers.
Problems with sleeping – Symptoms such as leg cramps, heartburn, backaches, throbbing hands and itchy skin tend to worsen at night, especially in the last trimester.
In the final stages of pregnancy, acupuncture may be used to optimise baby’s positioning for birth (eg for breech presentations) and with preparation for labour.
Labour Induction + Preparation for Birth
Although there is limited research to date, it does appear to support what Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have known for hundreds of years – that acupuncture helps with softening and dilating the cervix, and reducing the pain and duration of labour (2-4).
We also provide acupuncture treatments to encourage things along in a natural way, to women hoping to avoid a medical induction.