Acupuncture during pregnancy
Once a woman has conceived, acupuncture can be further used to maintain a healthy pregnancy. It can help reduce the symptoms of morning sickness, constipation, back pain and sciatica, insomnia, fatigue, stress and anxiety.
In later stages of pregnancy, acupuncture can be used to turn a breech baby and to induce labout when a woman is passed her due date.
Pre-Birth Acupuncture from week 36 onwards (final 4 weeks of pregnancy) can help prepare a woman's body for childbirth, mainly by preparing the cervix and pelvis for labour. Acupuncture treatment at this point in the pregnancy generally will help you feel more relaxed, boost your energy levels, stimulate blood circulation in the body, soften the ligaments and tendons prior to labour, and aid in cervical dilation.
Acupressure for labour
Research suggests that acupressure during labour can stimulate uterine contractions, reduce pain and shorten labour time. Click here for more information about acupressure for labour.
A closer look at the efficacy of acupuncture
Smith et al in 2002 published research results on the use of acupuncture
for nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. They showed that acupuncture is an
effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy.
Source: Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. Smith et al. Publimed Article.
Pelvic pain relief during pregnancy
A Swedish research showed that acupuncture and strengthening exercises help relieve pelvic
girdle pain during pregnancy and are effective complements to standard treatment.
Source: British Medical Journal (2005, April 5). Acupuncture Relieves Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy. Article Science Daily.
Moxibustion treatment of breech presentation
A 2000 research showed that of 133 women presenting with breech presentation at the 28th week,
93% of them underwent cephalic presentation with the use of moxibusion (vs. 72% in the control group).
Source: Yoichi Kanakura "Moxibustion Treatment of Breech Presentation". American Journal of Chinese Medicine. Full article.
A New Zealand study has shown that with pre-birth acupuncture there was a 43% reduction in the induction rate as most women would go into spontaneous labour around their due date. In addition, labour duration in the group receiving pre-birth acupuncture was reduced from 8hrs 2 mins in the control group to 6hrs 36 mins, and women also tended to require less medical intervention (medical induction, epidural, caesarian section).
Source: Betts D, Lennox S. "Acupuncture for prebirth treatment: An observational study of its use in midwifery practice." Medical acupuncture 2006 May; 17(3):17-20 Full article.