Acupuncture in Pregnancy

Prepare for Birth with Acupuncture

acupuncture in pregnancy

Acupuncture for pain and nausea during pregnancy

Acupuncture may be supportive in the relief of muscular-sceletal pain during pregnancy. For the use of acupuncture in cases of morning sickness, clinical trials have been inconclusive. The trialed acupuncture points are often used for other types of nausea. In pregnancy however a different approach to acupuncture is recommended to relieve nausea. During a personal consultation, we can discuss options how acupuncture may support you.

From week 36: Prepare body & mind for birth

Weekly acupuncture from week 36 until the start of labour will aim to support the natural changes, to relax and give you the energy for labour and recovery.

If induction is required and time allows, specific acupuncture can be tried to bring on labour. However, research does not support that receiving acupuncture to stimulate contractions improves labour outcomes (Smith et al. 2013).

Rather than such last minute intervention, I recommend the weekly preparation by acupuncture from week 36 to support the required natural changes prior to birth (Betts and Lennox 2006). This New Zealand study was not a placebo controlled double-blinded randomised trial but an observation from actual acupuncture treatments compared to overall birth outcomes in the same region and timeframe. While this format of research can be biased for example towards who has sought acupuncture, the format has some value in reflecting actual clinical practice.

My treatments are designed to be gentle, deeply relaxing and enjoyable. You and your support person can also learn acupressure for later use during labour.

Acupressure during childbirth

Acupressure is the application of firm pressure on acupuncture points. It can be useful during childbirth for emotional support and hands-on partner involvement. New Zealand based acupuncturist Debra Betts is an expert in the field and has kindly provided instructions for self use as a free download from her website, see here.

Safety of acupuncture during pregnancy

Various studies indicate that acupuncture is a useful drug free approach and safe during pregnancy (Betts 2006; Park et al. 2014; Smith et al. 2002). However there may be risks involved in any type of treatment and it is important that you consult a highly qualified and registered acupuncturist.


Betts D. 2006. Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth. Published by The Journal of Chinese Medicine.

Betts D. and Lennox S. 2006. Medical Acupuncture 17(3): 17-20

Park J., Sohn Y., White A.R., Lee H. 2014. The safety of acupuncture during pregnancy: a systematic review. Acupuncture in Medicine 32(3): 257-66

Smith C., Crowther C., Beilby J. 2002. Pregnancy outcome following women’s participation in a randomised controlled trial of acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. Complement Ther Med. 10(2): 78-83.

Smith C.A., Crowther C.A., Grant S.J. 2013. Acupuncture for induction of labour. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (8)

acubalance acupuncture serves Randwick and the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney – including Coogee, Maroubra, Eastgardens, Kensington, Kingsford, Clovelly, Waverly, Bronte, Bondi, Rosebay, Vaucluse.