Acupuncture use in Pregnancy

Acupuncture can be used to assist with a range of pregnancy related conditions, offering women an alternative to taking medication. Acupuncture may also be used for the discomfort often regarded as part of a ‘normal’ pregnancy that just has to be endured. While acupuncture is viewed by many as an ‘alternative’ medicine, it use in pregnancy is widespread in certain countries such as Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland and New Zealand, where midwives undertake specialized acupuncture training. In 2009 Hutt Valley Hospital invited the New Zealand School of acupuncture to run clinic specifically for pregnancy related conditions. The following list details the conditions that acupuncture has been used for in this clinic;

  • Miscarriage

  • Threatened miscarriage

  • Early pregnancy supportive care

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Constipation and hemorrhoids

  • Varicose veins and vulval varicosities

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, pelvic and hip pain

  • Fatigue and exhaustion

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Itching in pregnancy

  • Hypertension disorders including Pregnancy-induced hypertension

  • Gestational diabeties

  • Breech and posterior positioned babies

  • Preparation for a medical Induction

  • Prebirth acupuncture to prepare the body for an efficient labour

  • Acupressure taught to support people to use for pain relief during labour

  • Postpartum recovery

PreBirth treatment: This involves a series of four treatments weekly from 36 or 37 weeks to prepare for labour. Points are used according a woman's constitution and pregnancy history. This may include points used to assist in ripening the cervix,  positioning  the baby in the best position for labour and to promote optimal energy and stamina for women.

Breech babies are  ideally  treated between 34 - 36 weeks gestation. This is often a one off treatment with women being shown how to continue treatment at home with a moxa stick (a herb that has been shaped into a cigar like stick). The moxa stick is lit and held over specific places in the body to stimulate the acupuncture points.  

From Debra Betts