Pregnancy Acupuncture

Acupuncture for pregnancy

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been used for thousands of years to promote optimal health for both the expecting mother and developing fetus.

Studies have demonstrated that women who receive pregnancy acupuncture experience less complications and enjoy a higher level of comfort during their pregnancy.

Receiving acupuncture during your pregnancy may be beneficial in alleviating symptoms related to:

  • Morning Sickness
  • Pelvic and lower back pain
  • Fluid Retention
  • Digestive upsets
  • Fatigue
  • General aches and pains
  • Heartburn and reflux
  • headaches
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • breech presentations

Regular acupuncture sessions throughout your pregnancy, in particular from 32 weeks can help your body prepare for a more efficient labour, possibly reducing the risk of needing interventions during child birth.

When is the right time to start receiving pregnancy acupuncture?

The team of acupuncturists at Integral Acupuncture Brisbane treat various complaints related to pregnancy everyday and are highly experienced in pregnancy acupuncture.

Whether you're experiencing morning sickness, needing to stabilise your pregnancy, suffering from physical pain, have a baby in a breech position or needing to induce labour, our pregnancy acupuncturists are here to help you.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of (extremely) thin filament needles into certain locations of the body. The location of acupuncture points will change depending on your complaint, however, there is clear evidence documenting that when certain acupuncture points are stimulated, the body releases specific hormones, neurotransmitters, and other chemicals which may benefit in alleviating your current condition. Some of the most notable of these are:

Beta-endorphin; a powerful natural painkiller produced within your body.

Oxytocin: a neuropeptide which plays a pivotal role in mood, childbirth and social bonding,

As well as the release of certain chemicals and hormones, acupuncture points can be stimulated to reduce tension and physical discomfort in tender areas, increase blood-flow to specific parts of the body and promote an overall optimisation of your pregnancy and health in general.

You may wish to seek expert care with our pregnancy acupuncturists at Integral Acupuncture Brisbane if you are suffering an acute or chronic complaint such as morning sickness, or, it is beneficial to receive pregnancy acupuncture simply as a way to experience a healthier, happier pregnancy even in the absence of complaint or complication. 

Is pregnancy acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture, including pregnancy acupuncture is largely regarded as safe with minimal risks associated with receiving acupuncture treatment. But we don't expect you to take our word for it. Here are the findings of a high-quality, robust systematic review of peer reviewed scientific research regarding the safety of acupuncture.

This systematic review was first published in 2014 and is titled:

The safety of Acupuncture during pregnancy: A Systematic Review

The review sources its data from 105 high-quality separate studies and concludes:

Of 105 included studies, detailed AEs (Adverse Events) were reported only in 25 studies represented by 27 articles (25.7%). AEs evaluated as certain, probable or possible in the causality assessment were all mild/moderate in severity, with needling pain being the most frequent. Severe AEs or deaths were few and all considered unlikely to have been caused by acupuncture. Total AE incidence was 1.9%, and the incidence of AEs evaluated as certainly, probably or possibly causally related to acupuncture was 1.3%.

Acupuncture during pregnancy appears to be associated with few AEs when correctly applied.

Citation: Park, J., Sohn, Y., White, A. R., & Lee, H. (2014). The Safety of Acupuncture during Pregnancy: A Systematic Review. Acupuncture in Medicine, 32(3), 257–266. Link to article

Want to know more about pregnancy acupuncture at our Brisbane clinic?

If you would like to know more about how receiving acupuncture during your pregnancy may be able to benefit you, our expert team of pregnancy acupuncturists are happy to speak with either by email, or over the phone. Contact us online or .

Here's a little scientific evidence about acupuncture for pregnancy.

Our team of expert pregnancy acupuncturists at Integral Acupuncture Brisbane insist on being up to date with current medical knowledge and operate with a modern, evidence-based mindset.

We've collected for you a a little bit of the research supporting pregnancy acupuncture, if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch and one of our expert Brisbane acupuncturists would love to answer them for you.

A randomised controlled study in 2004 demonstrated and concluded:

During the study period, VAS scorings of pain intensity decreased over time in 60% of patients in the acupuncture group and in 14% of those in the control group (p<0.01). At the end of the study period, 43% of the acupuncture patients were less bothered than initially by pain during activity compared with 9% of control patients (p<0.01). No serious adverse effects of acupuncture were found in the patients, and there were no adverse effects at all in the infants.

Acupuncture relieves low‐back and pelvic pain without serious adverse effects in late pregnancy.

Citation: Kvorning, N. , Holmberg, C. , Grennert, L. , Åberg, A. and Åkeson, J. (2004), Acupuncture relieves pelvic and low‐back pain in late pregnancy. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 83: 246-250. doi:10.1111/j.0001-6349.2004.0215.x Link to article

A randomised controlled pilot study from 2004 investigating acupuncture's ability to alleviate depression during pregnancy concluded:

Acupuncture holds promise for the treatment of depression during pregnancy.

Citation: Rachel Manber, Rosa N. Schnyer, John J.B. Allen, A. John Rush, Christine M. Blasey,  Acupuncture: a promising treatment for depression during pregnancy, Journal of Affective Disorders,  Volume 83, Issue 1,  2004 Link to article

A 2002 Australian randomised controlled trial conducted through Adelaide University looked at acupuncture's effectiveness in alleviating morning sickness and ultimately concluded:

Acupuncture is an effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy. A time‐related placebo effect was found for some women.

Citation: Smith, C. , Crowther, C. and Beilby, J. (2002), Acupuncture To Treat Nausea and Vomiting in Early Pregnancy: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Birth, 29: 1-9. doi:10.1046/j.1523-536X.2002.00149.x. Link to article

How long will my pregnancy acupuncture appointment take

Acupuncture for pregnancy appointments typically run for 45 minutes.  Allow up to 60 minutes for your first appointment.

What to expect at your first acupuncture for pregnancy appointment

At your first pregnancy acupuncture appointment at Integral Acupuncture Brisbane, your acupuncturist will take a detailed case history regarding your current health and concerns.

A treatment plan will be developed and discussed with you about what is required so that you may experience the happiest and healthiest pregnancy possible.

You'll receive acupuncture treatment, lifestyle and dietary advice and if required Chinese Herbal Medicine or supplementation may be discussed.

Please bring with you any relevant medical reports from your GP, obstetrician, midwife, or other health professional.

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