Acupuncture is a safe and comfortable treatment for many of the symptomsthat may develop in pregnancy. This is especially true since prescription medications are contraindicated in pregnant women in most cases.

How can acupuncture be used during pregnancy?

In today’s practice, acupuncture treatment is recommended once a month to ensure the optimal health of the mother and the developing fetus at different stages of growth. Historically, Zhubin (K9), is known as the “pretty baby point”  should be needled at the end of the third and sixth months to ensure a happy, healthy, and aesthetically pleasing baby.  It is said that “stimulating this point minimizes the transmission of toxins from the mother to the child, increases the health of the baby and its resistance to disease and also tonifies the mother’s Qi.”

In preparation for labor and delivery during the last month of the pregnancy the expectant mom should be seen weekly.

Pregnancy related conditions acupuncture treatment is utilized:

  • Back Pain and Sciatica
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Edema
  • Fatigue
  • Heartburn
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Morning Sickness
  • Psychological issues
  • Physical problems
  • Morning Sickness
  • Rhinitis
A fascinating use of Chinese Medicine in pregnancy is its role in turning a fetus that is presenting breech position.  The technique is most effective between the 28th and 34th week, up to 36 weeks of pregnancy.

Breech treatments use the herb mugwort called (moxa in Chinese) on certain acupoints. Moxa treatments should be repeated daily for a maximum of ten days, yet most babies turn within three days.  Once turned into the appropriate headfirst position, patients should stop using the technique, as it could cause the baby to turn back to breech.

Acupuncture has been used very successfully for thousands of years to induce women who are over-due in their pregnancy. Usually, one treatment is all that is needed to get the process going. Sometimes a second treatment may be needed. Patients usually begin contractions within 6-48 hours of having a treatment.  One Australian study reported that using acupuncture to stimulate labor in overdue mothers to be had a success rate of 88%.
Acupuncture use in labor and delivery is a common practice in China where the birth process is considered natural and to be interfered with as little as possible. Acupuncture’s use is to assist Nature. It can be used to strengthen weak contractions and to diminish pain.

In England it has been observed that acupuncture assisted delivery is shorter, less painful, less stressful for the mother and less likely to result in postpartum hemorrhage.

Although she will be very busy, the new mother should be encouraged to get acupuncture treatment after delivery. The restoration of her own health is imperative for her own well being and for her ability to be present for her newborn. Among the conditions that acupuncture can address after birth are:

  • Fatigue
  • Postpartum vaginal discharge
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Mastitis
  • Insufficient or Excessive Lactation
  • If there has been caesarian section, acupuncture can help with the post operative healing.