Did you know that acupuncture can be a safe and helpful treatment during pregnancy? The benefits of acupuncture are many, from easing discomfort to preparing the body for labor.
Acupuncture can help with the following:
- Morning sickness/nausea
- Aches & pains
Acupuncture for Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)
During the first trimester of pregnancy and sometimes even beyond, nausea and vomiting are common. Some women even suffer an extreme form of morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum (“HG”). Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, had it with all her pregnancies.
Acupuncture can help relieve nausea, and a 2021 systematic review and meta-analysis in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine even suggested that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for HG, although it acknowledged the need for more and better research in this area.
In addition, acupuncture can also decrease acid secretion, repress gastric arrhythmias, and help improve the function of the part of the esophagus that is responsible for preventing acid reflux.
Finding Natural Relief
Fatigue often occurs in early pregnancy and then recurs in the third trimester. Swelling and various aches and pains, particularly lumbopelvic pain (pain in the low back and pelvis), are also common as the woman's body expands to accommodate the growing baby.
Constipation during pregnancy can also arise for various reasons, one of which is that the increase in the hormone progesterone relaxes the intestinal muscles and slows the movement of food and waste through the digestive system.
Acupuncture is a natural way to treat all of these ailments.
Acupuncture During Labor & Delivery
When it comes to the labor and delivery process, acupuncture can provide support as it can:
- Encourage the proper positioning of the baby for birth
- Help with cervical ripening
- Prepare the body to contract effectively
Receiving acupuncture in the last few weeks of pregnancy can also increase the likelihood of going into labor naturally around your due date. In fact, a 2018 study of women who were already past their due date showed that women who received acupuncture had a lower rate of labor induction.
A small pilot study in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada even found that women who received acupuncture at term as opposed to "sham" or fake acupuncture (which is acupuncture undertaken at non-relevant sites on the body and often used in studies to control for the possibility of a "placebo effect") had shorter labors.
So if you’re pregnant or planning to be, reach out to our office to discuss how acupuncture can support you during this time. We’ll create a treatment plan that's right for you!