Acupuncture During Pregnancy

General Issues During Pregnancy

Many women find that acupuncture and tuina-massage are ideal forms of treatment during pregnancy as they offer drug-free relief for a number of problems that can arise at this time. Treatment can go a long way to improving the quality of life for women with conditions such as:

Musculoskeletal Issues During Pregnancy

A number of musculoskeletal problems are seen as a ‘normal’ part of pregnancy but this does not have to be the case. Acupuncture and tuina-massage can be used to support women experiencing conditions such as:

Issues arising during pregnancy tend to be more acute in nature so will generally need 2 to 4 sessions to get the full benefit of treatment.  

Pre-birth Acupuncture

Weekly pre-birth acupuncture sessions are intended to help you have an efficient labour. We can use acu-points that help prepare your body, focusing in particular on preparing the cervix and pelvis for labour. At these appointments we can also address any other presenting problems, and help with any stress you might be feeling. If induction with acupuncture is required, then pre-birth treatment should improve the chances of a successful outcome. Also, during these appointments, if you wish, you can invite a partner/support person to come and learn the acupressure points that can make a difference to pain levels during labour. These sessions can generally start from about 37 weeks onwards.


Acupuncture can be used to help induce labour thus giving you more opportunity to achieve natural childbirth. This treatment generally involves the use of electro-acupuncture at points on your lower back and legs, but can also be performed with manual acupuncture. Ideally, you would come for three sessions each spaced two days apart. This works very well when combined with a stretch and sweep procedure from your midwife so you could aim to plan your final acupuncture session for the same day.  If you wish, you can also invite a partner/support person to come and learn the acupressure points to support this process at home.

Breech & Posterior Positions

Studies from China confirm a high success rate in correcting foetal position with the application of moxa to an acu-point on both little toes. Intervention is most efficient at 34 weeks, but it is usually standard practice for midwives to wait until 36 weeks to discuss the possibility of Baby remaining breech. Therefore, I recommend starting the process as close to this 36 week mark as possible, although babies can turn at up to 40 weeks. (Women who have already had a baby are more likely to have a positive outcome even if they try this treatment as late as 38 or 39 weeks). Ideally you would come for an appointment so that I can apply the treatment, then I would give you a smokeless moxa stick so that you can repeat the treatment each day at home for a week, then come back for a follow-up appointment the following week.

Postnatal Support

Acupuncture and acupressure can be used following childbirth to help restore energy and other vital substances. This could mean following the practice of “mother warming” at home on day four or five post-birth which is intended to energise and aid recovery. It could also mean coming for an appointment at about day ten to fourteen post-birth for a session to help build energy and blood back up. You are welcome to bring a partner/support person to look after Baby while you are receiving treatment.

In addition to rebuilding your energy, you might also consider acupuncture for support with issues such as mastitis, night sweats, insufficient lactation, and afterpains.