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Acupuncture for a Healthy Pregnancy

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used to support women through pregnancy and birth for over two thousand years.  Gynaecology from the Han dynasty (206BC-220CE) is documented in several books with chapters dedicated to pregnancy and post-partum disease.  Obstetric and gynaecology acupuncture theory has continued to flourish by building on these original Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts. 

Is acupuncture safe in pregnancy?

A study conducted in 2002 of two groups of pregnant women with morning sickness, (one group having acupuncture treatment for morning sickness, the other not having any acupuncture), showed no difference between the two groups to the perinatal outcome, congenital abnormalities, pregnancy complications and problems of the newborn.  This study suggests that there are no adverse effects from the use of acupuncture in pregnancy.  Was the acupuncture successful in treating the morning sickness?  Click here for the results.

This study also supports our own positive experience of treating many women to support their own health and that of their babies.

How can acupuncture be useful for pregnant women?

There are several ways that acupuncture can be beneficial for pregnant women. 

  1. The Traditional Chinese Medicine theory is based on supporting balance in the body, when the balance is disturbed, ill-health may result.  Ideally, we address any imbalances to prevent problems occurring with the pregnancy and attain a state of optimal wellbeing during the pregnancy.
  2. Sometimes, a health condition such as nausea or back pain may occur during pregnancy, this may be treated as it arises.
  3. Acupuncture can be a very relaxing experience, which is beneficial to anyone who leads a stressful or busy life.
  4. Acupuncture can prepare a woman for birth.

When should a pregnant woman have acupuncture?

  • First trimester

Usually weekly treatment is required to maintain a healthy pregnancy in the delicate early stages. (This is especially important if there is a history of miscarriage.) It is at this time we may also be able to provide relief from morning sickness. 

  • Second & third trimester

Treatment may be maintained on a monthly basis for pregnancy support or used as necessary (e.g. for back pain or breech-presentation).

  • From 36 weeks

Weekly treatment (or more often if required) to prepare for birth.  We also teach acupressure for pain relief during these weeks to women and their birth partners.

What conditions may acupuncture assist with?

  • Where a woman has a history of miscarriage
  • Morning sickness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Heartburn
  • Haemorrhoids & varicose veins
  • Musculo-skeletal pain
  • Oedema
  • Breech position
  • Anxiety & depression
  • Pre-birth treatment
  • Lactation

Are the HealthWise Clinic acupuncturists experienced at treating pregnant women?

At HealthWise Clinic we have been helping women to have healthy pregnancies since 1981.  Our acupuncturists (David McLeod and Zam Martin) are all well-qualified and undertake additional training in pregnancy care.  Our close proximity to several large fertility clinics and convenient city location enables us to see a large proportion of women from pre-conception through to birth.


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