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Acupuncture During Pregnancy

Pregnant women sometimes feel so bad that they are ready to resort to any means to get rid of discomfort. The first option is alternative medicine. It is rich in various practices, many of which have proven to be quite effective and healing.

One of the most common and well-known forms of alternative medicine is acupuncture. This is a rather specific and not traditional way of getting rid of a specific problem. Many pregnant women are afraid to resort to such methods of treatment and recovery. Is it so dangerous for pregnancy? Let’s deal with this issue.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient part of traditional Chinese medicine. The principle of operation is based on injecting the finest needles into certain parts of the body. The human body is pierced by “meridians” along which the vital energy Qi moves according to the theory. Needles piercing this stream in a certain way can release pain, discomfort, and disease.

Acupuncture is not taken seriously in scientific circles as pseudo-medicine with a placebo effect. Acupuncture has no scientifically proven effectiveness. This is just centuries-old reflexology that has spread throughout the world. Its popularity is connected with the facts of real help to people.

The healing properties of acupuncture have been known for thousands of years. This practice belongs to traditional medicine in China. It is used as a way to get out of many pathological conditions. It is considered alternative medicine in Europe and the USA.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture treatment involves stimulating acupuncture points. These are areas of the human body that are key to certain problems of the body. Manipulations are carried out with thin sterile needles. Pricking is considered a serious method for increasing self-healing abilities.

Many acupuncture points are connected to deep nerves according to research. The release of endorphins and other substances that stimulate the brain occurs due to the effect on them. Aces of acupuncture can completely block the feeling of pain by acting according to a certain pattern.

How can acupuncture help pregnant women?

There are many potential uses for acupuncture during pregnancy. Let’s look at more specific treatment options that have had a positive result in practice:


This is the most severe of the variants of the course of toxicosis, which often requires hospitalization. The practice of acupuncture significantly reduces the symptoms of this condition, reduces nausea, reduces vomiting, and normalizes appetite. The duration of hyperemesis is significantly reduced if acupuncture is carried out in courses.

Pains of different localization

You can solve the problem of the frequent back, neck, and pelvic pain with acupuncture. Accurate and correct insertion of needles helps eliminate severe pain that often accompanies pregnant women.

Acupuncture is a good remedy for headaches. Many women in position complain of frequent unbearable pain in the temples, the back of the head, and other parts of the skull. This issue is solved by several sessions of acupuncture.

Depressive states

Depression and its conditions (apathy, depression, anxiety) are very common during pregnancy. Every 4th woman in the position suffers from depression according to statistics. Acupuncture can also be used as one of the components of therapy. The targeted use of this alternative treatment reduces the severity of depressive symptoms.

Sleep disturbance

Pregnant women almost from the first days of their position notice that sleep is getting worse. Massage, acupuncture, and meditation in combination help to cope with sleep disorders without drugs. Sleep normalizes and becomes more stable. Even complex insomnia can be overcome with the help of acupuncture.

Digestive problems

There are facts of positive dynamics in the treatment of problems with the digestive tract in pregnant women. Acupuncture helps with indigestion, constipation, and increased gas formation. The symptoms of these diseases are either significantly reduced or disappear altogether.


Acupuncture is good for long-term swelling of the limbs. The method works especially well on the legs. Swollen legs return to normal after a few sessions. The use of the method in a course helps to avoid the recurrence of swelling.

Labor induction

Sometimes acupuncture can be used as an alternative to drug induction of labor when the fetus is overbearing. Acupuncturists give several sessions of therapy and this helps the pregnant woman to give birth. Prolonged pregnancy can harm the fetus due to the aging of the placenta.

Stress and neuroses

Many women become more sensitive to external stimuli during pregnancy. This makes them vulnerable to stressful situations. the state of the nervous system can be improved through acupuncture. The emotional background is put in order, the pregnant woman is less anxious, does not go into deep stress, and adapts more easily to difficult situations.

Sinusitis and rhinitis

Acupuncture is used to alleviate the symptoms of pregnancy rhinitis. Women in positions should not use vasoconstrictor drugs. Severe swelling of the nasal mucosa interferes with normal breathing. Acupuncture can relieve swelling, clear sinuses, and prevent symptoms from recurring.

Facilitate childbirth

Acupuncture enthusiasts use this method to relieve the pain of childbirth. Needles that penetrate the body at the right points are directly used in the process of childbirth. This significantly reduces pain and calms the woman in labor. The level of stress and anxiety is minimized and blood pressure is normalized.

Is acupuncture safe for pregnant women?

Acupuncture had strict contraindications in pregnancy with a previously insufficient research base. At the moment, there is an experience of the positive use of acupuncture to reduce the negative symptoms of toxicosis and treat pain and some complications of pregnancy. Acupuncture is considered relatively safe during pregnancy because of this.

Acupuncture is not a medical treatment. There are not many contraindications. It cannot be said with 100% certainty that this alternative treatment option will pass without consequences for the expectant mother and child. It is always worth considering the individual characteristics of the body.

Most likely, during pregnancy, everything will be fine if the woman used this method before pregnancy and it did not harm her. It is important to understand the level of sensitivity of the pregnant woman, and the qualifications and experience of the specialist. Do not use acupuncture for no apparent reason. This type of therapy is suitable for solving specific problems to improve well-being and health.

Contraindications for acupuncture during pregnancy

Acupuncture has some contraindications. There are not as many of them as with drugs, but you need to consider these points when you are in a position. Any intervention can harm both you and the baby.

Chronic diseases of internal organsIt is better to refuse the use of acupuncture during pregnancy in the presence of chronic diseases. This is especially true in the acute phase of the disease. The result of acupuncture may be the opposite of the therapeutic effect.

SARSDo not resort to acupuncture during the period of viral diseases. This may cause the condition to worsen. This is possible with a violation of the lymph flow and blood flow of a woman. The virus will spread throughout the body and can cause complications.

Infectious diseasesDo not use the acupuncture method to fight infectious diseases. This is contraindicated due to unconfirmed results and possible complications. Infections are treated with medication.

Tumors – It is better to refuse alternative medicine if a tumor is found in any part of the body during pregnancy. The behavior of this formation is not predictable. You need to get tested for malignancy. It is not worth using scientifically proven methods.

Low weight gain – It is best not to practice acupuncture if the pregnant woman is underweight. The same applies to the shortage in the mass of the fetus. Sessions can harm both the baby and the mother. Overweight acupuncture is not contraindicated.

Reduced immunity – Acupuncture is prohibited during the period of lowering the immune defense or the presence of diseases associated with the immune system. Weakened immunity can lead to the formation of infectious foci at injection sites or blood poisoning.

The threat of miscarriage – It is better for a pregnant woman to exclude any manipulations with the body in this state. Although there is a practice in acupuncture that helps save the fetus, it is better to seek the help of doctors.

Should I use acupuncture during pregnancy?

Remember that only you and your doctor are solely responsible for your child. The use of alternative medicine for the treatment of diseases has no scientific basis. But there is an undeniable therapeutic effect that is difficult to deny.

Only your doctor can tell you whether to use acupuncture when you are pregnant. It is worth considering the condition of the fetus and your health. Assess the need for such therapy and how the result of its impact will be justified. Weigh all the risks, and consider contraindications.

Be sure to check the experience and qualifications of a specialist before resorting to acupuncture. He must have confirmed diplomas, certificates, and real results. Don’t use acupuncture just for relaxation or as part of a spa treatment. Solve a specific problem to improve well-being and health. Acupuncture is a conditionally safe type of traditional Chinese medicine that pregnant women are advised to use with caution.

Acupuncture in every trimester

Acupuncture plays a role in regulating well-being and helping pregnant women, depending on the gestation period. Here is an example of the main features of the use of acupuncture in each trimester:

First trimester

Remember that it is better not to resort to acupuncture sessions in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. Active restructuring of the female body and strengthening of the fetus occurs during this period. The placenta is formed and there are a lot of other important stages that cannot be interfered with. There is a risk of spontaneous miscarriages.

The first symptoms of toxicosis begin after the 8th week. You can use acupuncture during this period. It will help reduce bouts of nausea, weakness, and sweating. Morning sickness and migraines will be less pronounced. It is possible to fight fatigue, drowsiness, and stress with the help of acupuncture.

Second trimester

A woman has her first noticeable belly starting at 14 weeks. The load on the back is growing intensively throughout the second trimester. Acupuncture can positively affect the pain syndrome by reducing it to a minimum. The use of acupuncture in the second trimester must be justified by the reason. Using this method without a reason is not recommended.

Third trimester

Some doctors recommend that acupuncture be used no longer than before the 37th week of pregnancy. Successful experience with the use of acupuncture even during childbirth exists in practice. In the third trimester, approach alternative medicine with extreme caution. Discuss these manipulations with your doctor so as not to harm yourself and the child.

Features of the use of acupuncture during pregnancy

Severe complications from acupuncture are rare. There are individual characteristics of your body that can give a negative reaction. For example, some pregnant women experience redness and slight swelling at the injection site after an acupuncture session. Sometimes it may not go away for several days.

Personal sensitivity to pain should also be taken into account. Experienced specialists with oriental practice make acupuncture almost painless. There are many hypotheses and discussions about certain acupuncture points. Some experts are inclined to believe that they should not be used during pregnancy. Others believe that they are just as safe as the rest of the procedures.

Forbidden points: these are the channels of the spleen, colon, bladder, and lung channel. It is also not recommended to put pressure on points in the lower abdomen and sacral region.

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