Acupuncture During Pregnancy: Benefits and Risks


When a woman gets pregnant, tips and recommendations pour in from all sides which include medicines, herbal remedies, and therapies. Acupuncture is also one of those, which could cause many mothers to raise eyebrows since it involves poking needles into the body, but it’s a lot more than that. 

What Is Acupuncture?

Passed down from the traditional healing methods that emerged in China many centuries ago, acupuncture works on the principle of establishing the flow of energy back in the body. The therapy works on understanding what obstacles might be present that obstruct the flow of energy through the body and aim to resolve those. This is conducted by making use of needles that are as thin as hair. These are pierced into the skin in certain locations that are termed to be important in re-establishing the balance of energy and bringing immense relief. 

acupuncture when pregnant

Benefits Of Acupuncture During Pregnancy

Acupuncture can help relieve several pregnancy symptoms such as – 

  • Morning sickness – immense relief from morning nausea and vomiting sensations.
  • Headaches – reduced number of pregnancy-related headaches and migraines.
  • Backaches – a substantial decrease or even complete treatment of pain in the lower region of the back.
  • Hormones – normalizing hormone levels, leading to better moods and positive attitude towards life. 
  • Mood – relief from stress, depression, and anxiety, bringing in an immense sense of relaxation. 
  • Acne – treatment of acne since the hormone levels start normalizing themselves. 
  • Insomnia – a surprising side-effect of attaining relief from insomnia or even hemorrhoids due to acupuncture. 

Moxibustion During Pregnancy

Moxibustion works on the same basic principles as acupuncture, but instead of actually puncturing the skin with the needles, long sticks of the mugwort herb are burned near certain acupuncture points along the body. Both the heat from the burning and properties of the herb itself are thought to provide physical benefits during pregnancy. Some other studies have shown that daily sessions of moxibustion (either alone or combines with acupuncture) can increase fetal activity and therefore help turn a baby from a breech position to the more delivery-friendly heads-down position. However, some other studies have found moxibustion to be no more effective than doing nothing. 

Possible Risks Of Acupuncture During Pregnancy

  • Acupuncture tends to trigger certain functions in the body when specific points are stimulated. At times, these points could also result in contractions of the uterus, which could result in premature delivery or a miscarriage.
  • Short acupuncture sessions that are roughly around 20 minutes or so are optimal and right. Resorting o extended sessions can put the body under undue stress.
  • Acupuncture is also a known technique to help with delayed deliveries since it induces labor. Therefore, make sure and care must be taken to not accidentally stimulate those points. 
  • An untrained or amateur acupuncturist who does not have experience with pregnant women could stimulate the wrong points which are not right. 
  • If the acupuncture is not a professional, the needles could cause injuries or injections. 

Acupuncture Tips For Pregnant Women

Acupuncture during pregnancy, a woman should follow the tips such as – 


Consult the doctor for acupuncture 

before proceeding with any kind of remedy or therapy that doesn’t fall under usual medication procedures, get the doctor’s advice. The views of the doctor might differ based on the experience of dealing with patient’s earlies. If so, the doctor might ask to observe certain precautions before opting for the therapy, since some medications can cause complications in pregnancy. 

Carefully choose acupuncturist

Acupuncture points for pregnancy are extremely sensitive and need to be stimulated the right way. Therefore, it is important to choose an acupuncturist with a proper license for practice and is highly experienced with the work, especially in dealing properly with therapy for pregnant women.

Consider the cost

An acupuncture procedure may be or may not be limited to a single session. It could span over a number of sessions, depending on what intent to achieve from the therapy. Per session costs of the therapy could build-up without being aware. This is also a good time to check if the medical insurance covers the therapy so that option opts as well.

Careful for signs of trouble

Acupuncture is known to help induce labor in cases of delayed pregnancies. If that is not the goal of the therapy, then be highly aware of how the therapy makes you feel. In some cases of presence of any contraction-related feelings in the uterus or any other feeling that makes feeling of discomfort, stop the therapy immediately and contact the doctor. 

Can Acupuncture Be Used To Treat Infertility?

Some people experiencing infertility may consider alternative or complementary treatments, including acupuncture which will help in conceiving. However, researchers have been unable to prove conclusively that acupuncture does or does not help treat infertility. That being said, acupuncture is generally safe and has few risks. Anyone wishing to try using it to help treat infertility should consult the doctor first. 



Acupuncture is quite an alternative therapy that needs time to be embraced wholeheartedly. By knowing the right information and working with a professional who works which acupuncture points to avoid during pregnancy, work the way in attaining immense relief during the pregnancy as well as have a successful and safe delivery.