Pregnancy Acupuncture

10312461-young-pregnant-womanCongratulaions! You’re pregnant!
If you’re looking for a viable and ultra safe way to help you through your pregnancy and maintain good health, then Acupuncture is a natural and safe option to choose.
Some of the more common conditions in pregnancy for which acupuncture is effective include:

  • Morning sickness
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Back pain and Sciatica
  • Symphisis Pubis Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Pregnancy induced Hypertension


The medical profession is still quite unsure as to the cause of morning sickness in pregnancy, but it is thought to have a relationship to rising levels of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), the hormone which rises at a significant rate during the first trimester of pregnancy. In general the more nauseous the mother is, the more viable the pregnancy . (Not scientifically proven however).

The term “morning sickness” is actually a misnomer, as quite a number of women experience debilitating nausea and sometimes vomiting throughout the day also. Occasionally this may develop to a condition called “Hyperemesis Gravidarum”, whereby the woman cannot tolerate food or fluid, and vomits continually. This can be potentially life threatening as it may develop into severe dehydration which is detrimental to both mother and baby and definitely necessitates hospitalisation for intravenous fluids and anti- emetic treatment.

The good news is that Acupuncture can play a significant role in minimising and generally stopping the nausea and vomiting of “morning sickness”. In TCM terms, Damp, Liver Qi stagnation, Heat and Cold can all play a part in a TCM diagnosis of “morning sickness”, and so treatment will differ from woman to woman, depending on her presenting pattern. Treatment will usually involve at least twice a week, sometimes more often, depending on the severity of symptoms, but in general is very effective at returning the woman to a quality of life and allowing her to enjoy her pregnancy. Dietary advice is also important, but in general, small amounts of food and every 2 hours is advisable, as the stomachs digestive ability is significantly reduced.


A breech presentation is a baby who is presenting bottom first as opposed to head down. The western medical treatment for this is Caesarian Section, however breech presentation has been successfully treated for thousands of years by using moxibustion. Moxa is a herb used in stick form, which when heated close to the 5th toe can turn a breech baby.

The optimum time for this to be effective is 34 to 37 weeks gestation. Once shown how to apply the technique, it can be done at home by the woman or her partner, usually twice a day for 10 to 15minutes duration, over a period of 10 days. Within this time baby may turn, so the lady will have to be scanned by her midwife or Obstetrician, and treatment with Moxa discontinued at this time as baby may turn back.

INDUCTION OF LABOURpregnancy-fertility-acupuncture-gorey-wexford (2)

Normal gestation is 40 to 42 weeks, and if labour has not commenced in this time, the Western Medical approach is to induce labour artificially using drugs like Pitocin, which can be very painful.

For centuries, Asian women have used Acupuncture to stimulate natural contraction of the womb and induce natural labour. Quite often depending on the health of the woman and how uncomplicated her pregnancy has been, labour can be initiated within 24 to 48 hrs following treatment. Sometimes it may require 2 to 3 treatments in quick succession to be effective.



A study undertaken in an Adelaide Maternity Hospital, Australia in 2002 was undertaken on 593 women who were less than 14 weeks pregnant, and experiencing nausea or vomiting. They were randomised into 4 groups: Traditional Acupuncture, Pericardium 6 (P-6) Acupuncture, (P-6 is an Acupuncture point which is the basis for the commercial “sea bands”. It is located approx 2 inches above the wrist crease between 2 tendons), Sham Acupuncture, or no Acupuncture (control).

Results showed that women receiving Traditional Acupuncture or P-6 Acupuncture, demonstrated less nausea and less dry retching, than those receiving Sham Acupuncture or no Acupuncture.

They concluded that Acupuncture for Morning Sickness treatment is an effective procedure for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy.

Furthermore, The Journal of Reproductive Medicine 2001, published a study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of P-6 for the relief of Nausea and Vomiting in early pregnancy. Both this study and a similar one conducted by Dundee et al Evans et al 1993, conclusively showed that proper stimulation of the Acupunctue point P-6 reduced Nausea and Vomiting in patients.