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Is Acupuncture Safe While Pregnant?

You could have moments of feeling disoriented when pregnant. Is it any wonder, then? You can be feeling delight and excitement along with aches, pains, or other discomforts.

To get relief from morning sickness, back pain, and other issues without the use of drugs, some individuals turn to alternative medicine.

For thousands of years, Asian civilizations and medical systems have employed acupuncture as a traditional form of healing. In the US and elsewhere, it has also grown in favour as a supplemental therapy.

Here are some important facts regarding acupuncture, as well as the advantages, dangers, and scientific evidence supporting its usage during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the purpose

In order to perform acupuncture, small metal needles are inserted into your skin at certain bodily locations. A practitioner works to balance the yin (cool, sluggish) and yang (hot, aroused) forces in the body while stimulating these areas to promote qi flow (life force).

It can seem a little far-fetched if you’re unfamiliar with this kind of therapeutic approach. The fact is that acupuncture has been shown to be effective for treating a number of illnesses, including chronic pain and headaches.

Especially as part of intrauterine insemination or in-vitro fertilisation, you may have heard of utilising acupuncture while trying to conceive. In addition to this use, a 2015 article said that much of the study on acupuncture during pregnancy focuses on its capacity to reduce morning sickness.

Treatment of: is another usage during pregnancy that is possible.

  • pregnancy hyperemesis (severe nausea and vomiting)
  • back, pelvis, neck, and other places
  • anxiety and tension
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • depression
  • indigestion
  • constipation
  • the expansion (edema)
  • preeclampsia
  • version cephalic (breech babies)
  • suffering during labour

Additionally, it can be utilised to start labour.

Acupuncture during pregnancy: is it beneficial?

What specifically can acupuncture do to support you throughout the upcoming nine months? A rising amount of data indicates that there may be a number of plausible answers to this issue.


You could think about using acupuncture to help you conceive even before a pregnancy test shows a positive result.

According to researchers, the women who had acupuncture may have had a greater awareness of their fertility as well as a general sense of well-being. At the time, they also pointed out that this was just the start of the field’s investigation.

Acupuncture has now been linked to a decrease in infertility and an increase in pregnancy chances in additional studies, such as those conducted in 2017 and 2020.

Daytime sickness

Numerous studies have examined acupuncture’s potential to relieve nausea and vomiting both during and outside of pregnancy.

Studies on the stimulation of the P6 acupressure point, often known as the spleen channel, were addressed in one older but substantial review. Practitioners of the point think that P6 affects the digestive tract.

Acupuncture provided participants in research conducted outside of pregnancy with more relief from nausea and vomiting than did taking conventional drugs.

And even more intriguing and pertinent: A study from 2021 examined 16 earlier research and came to the conclusion that acupuncture is beneficial for treating severe morning sickness in pregnancy.

Pains and aches

During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin relaxes joints. You can experience bothersome pelvic or back discomfort in the second and third trimesters if you combine it with the weight gain caused by your body expanding.

Both a 2021 research and a 2018 study concluded that acupuncture is safe and helpful for treating lower back pain. Acupuncture can also be used to treat other aches and pains, including mental distress.


Up to 15% of pregnancies may have antepartum depression. Researchers in a short 2010 study recommended either massage therapy or acupuncture to treat depressed symptoms.

The acupuncture group’s total symptom decrease was equivalent to that of those receiving more conventional depression therapies. Additionally, the course of therapy was just 8 weeks long, with a total of 12 sessions.

A research from 2020 claimed that acupuncture might be used to treat and prevent pregnancy-related sadness.

Breech infants

When a baby is breech, acupuncture could also be a wonderful first option to explore.

Researchers say that between 32 and 35 weeks, activating the acupuncture sites BL67 and SI1 may assist flip newborns so they present headfirst. In this instance, moxibustion, another kind of Traditional Chinese Medicine, was paired with treatments that lasted 30 minutes each for three days in a row.

Labour ache

In a 2009 study involving more than 600 pregnant women, acupuncture usage during birth was contrasted with the use of other techniques, such as transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation and conventional painkillers.

The outcomes? The use of additional painkillers (such as an epidural, for instance) during delivery was less likely in the acupuncture group, but it had no effect on how long labour lasted in total.

Additionally, the newborns in the acupuncture group also had the highest Apgar ratings.

More recent studies have verified these findings. A study published in 2020 that included 28 more recent research discovered that acupuncture can aid in labour pain management and lessen the need for an epidural or other painkillers.

Acupuncture during pregnancy is safe

Acupuncture usage during pregnancy is the subject of an increasing amount of study.

According to Trusted Source, serious reactions or difficulties are uncommon and that acupuncture is generally safe for use during pregnancy. You could encounter short-lived, minor problems, such as temporary soreness or swelling where the needle was inserted.

There is substantial debate over whether acupuncture sites should be avoided during pregnancy since they might have negative effects. The research that is currently available, however, demonstrates that the prevalence of problems including miscarriage, preterm labour, and early rupture of membranes is essentially the same as in groups who did not undergo acupuncture.

Is trimester important? No, not always. Practitioners provide care to patients before conception, during the three trimesters, and after delivery.

Always check with your doctor to discover if there are any conditions for which acupuncture is not recommended. Otherwise, regardless of how close to or distant from your due date you are, therapy at an acupuncturist who holds a state licence should be safe.

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