Acupuncture during Pregnancy


TCM Acupuncture during pregnancy offers women a drug free and side effect free alternative to managing their health and well-being. It can help quell pregnancy pain such as pelvic, lower back and rib pain, in addition to morning sickness and headaches. Acupuncture can help the body prepare for childbirth, easing and shortening the labour process and reducing the use and need for medical interventions.


During pregnancy, acupuncture has been shown to effectively treat the following conditions:


  • Miscarriage prevention

  • Morning sickness (nausea & vomiting)     

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Heartburn

  • Constipation

  • Hemorrhoids

  • Anxiety & Depression

  • Sinusitis  

  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension

  • Insomnia

  • Edema (fluid retention)

  • Pain - musculoskeletal conditions

  • Vaginal itching

  • Breech & posterior positions

  • Cervical ripening

  • Labour Induction                 







Pregnancy Pain


One of the oldest applications of acupuncture is to effectively control and ease pain. Acupuncture improves circulation, thus reducing swelling and inflammation of the area of discomfort. Acupuncture is safe, gentle, and effective for treating:


• Neck and upper back pain

• Lower back and sciatica pain

• Leg cramps

• Rib pain

• Pubic symphysis pain

• Headaches

• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Pregnancy - 1st Trimester

Acupuncture can provide relief for some of the most common complaints in early pregnancy, such as nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, headaches and exhaustion. In addition, acupuncture and Chinese herbs can reduce the chances of miscarriage, which is at highest risk during the first trimester.


Pregnancy - 2nd Trimester

During the second trimester, women experience a lot of changes in their body due to the growth of the baby. This can lead to back pain and the misalignment of posture. Acupuncture treatments can reduce or correct these conditions, and can also give relief from heartburn, hemorrhoids, anxiety and depression.


Pregnancy - 3rd Trimester

Acupuncture helps ease many of the discomforts of the 3rd trimester, such as back pain, sciatica, swelling, constipation, heartburn and insomnia. Acupuncture treatments can also gently prepare the body for labour by ripening the cervix and by teaching your body how to promote efficient contractions.Patients who get acupuncture throughout their pregnancy, especially the third trimester, report faster and less complicated deliveries.


Pregnancy - End Stage


Breech Presentation


A breech birth is complicated and painful for both the mother and baby. Instead of taking the wait-and-see approach, with acupuncture you can be proactive. Acupuncture and moxibustion have been used for thousands of years to turn breeched babies, with a very high success rate. The treatments are both safe to the mother and child. If your baby has not yet turned head down by 33 weeks, it is recommended to try acupuncture and moxibustion.



Acupuncture for breech is ideally performed at week 34 for the highest success rates. During your acupuncture appointment, you are taught how to self-administer daily moxibustion at home. These treatments change the mother's hormonal levels which cause the baby to increase its movements and rotate accordingly.


In a study by Cardini et al. in 1998, published in the journal of American Medication Association, the moxibustion group had a 75.4% turn rate in comparison to 47.7% in the control group. Most importantly, no side effects or adverse reactions have been noted in this study or any other similar study.

Cervical Ripening


As the end of pregnancy nears, your cervix normally becomes soft (ripe) and begins to open (dilate) and thin (efface), preparing for the birth.  Your baby also starts to move further into the pelvis and into position.  The better the baby's position and the more effaced your cervix is when you go into labour, the faster and easier your labour tends to be.  A ripe cervix facilitates a better birth, reduces your need for pain medication and lowers your risk of needing a caesarean section.



Cervical ripening treatments ideally start at 37 weeks and continue weekly until the birth.  The focus is primarily on ripening the cervix and preparing the body for the labour, but each treatment also focuses on other aspects of preparing for your birth.


How Chinese Medicine can Help

A clinical study in New Zealand (Betts& Lennox, 2006) showed that giving women pre-birth acupuncture resulted in:

  • 35% reduction in medical inductions (43% reduction in women having their first baby)

  • 31% reduction in the epidurals

  • 32% reduction in emergency caesarean delivery

  • 9 % increase in normal vaginal births



Labour Induction

Acupuncture can be very effective for women past their due dates or those with a planned medical induction. Acupuncture has been shown to be a safe, non-invasive and drug free method in preparing the body for labour as well as inducing labour. Even if labour does not commence spontaneously after receiving induction acupuncture, (most women experience contractions during or within 48 hours after treatment) research shows you will still have a more efficient labour compared to women who do not receive acupuncture treatments. Post-treatment, Rebecca Sprintz may teach self-administered acupressure to further enhance the results of the treatment, enabling you to be proactive in the induction process.



Postnatal Care


Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been used for centuries to help mothers recover from delivery. A quick recovery by the mother means the best care for her new baby! Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is effective at treating:


  • Blood loss

  • Fatigue

  • Lactation problems

  • Low milk supply

  • Mastitis

  • Reduction of scars from a C-Section

  • Post-partum depression

  • Anxiety

  • Afterpains

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