Many moms-to-be may have no idea what to expect from their pregnancy. Along with the joy and excitement, it may also come with aches, pains, nausea, and discomfort. To relieve these symptoms, you might turn to alternative medicine. For instance, prospective parents may be interested in trying acupuncture during pregnancy to remedy morning sickness, back pain, and other common pregnancy discomforts. But is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?
Is Acupuncture Safe During Pregnancy?
Acupuncture during pregnancy is generally safe. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has even approved acupuncture for labor pain treatment. However, be sure to find a licensed acupuncture practitioner.
The treatment is a safe method of pain and symptom management for many pregnant women. One of the most frequent side effects of acupuncture during pregnancy is minor pain at the site of needle insertion.
How Does The Treatment Work?
Acupuncture is the insertion of small metal needles into your skin at specific points in the body. The treatment can balance the yin and yang forces to allow the qi to flow through your body. While the mechanism may sound strange to newcomers, it has several benefits and is researched accordingly. For instance, many who suffer from chronic pain and headaches find that regular acupuncture sessions help mitigate their pain.
What Pregnancy Conditions Does it Treat?
While acupuncture may be helpful to those trying to conceive (during IVF or intrauterine insemination), it has been studied as a way to relieve morning sickness. It can help you with the following symptoms:
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Back, pelvis, neck, and bodily pains
Per an extensive 2006 review, stimulating the spleen channel in the body through acupuncture needles may help relieve nausea. In other studies with patients who were not pregnant, acupuncture was a more effective solution than medication.
As your joints loosen a bit due to pregnancy hormones and your baby grows, your child puts lots of pressure on your pelvic floor. You might experience hip, back, and knee pain as a result. According to two studies (a 2018 study and a 2021 study), acupuncture works to help decrease the levels of pain experienced.
In one research paper, a group of 600 pregnant women experienced less pain during labor with acupuncture and had lower rates of needing an epidural or other pain medication.
When Can I Get Acupuncture Done if I’m Pregnant?
In general, acupuncture is safe and effective at all stages of pregnancy, during labor, and after pregnancy. While some may discuss the need to avoid certain acupuncture points, there is no evidence that the treatment can cause damage during your pregnancy. The rates of miscarriage, premature birth, and other incidents are roughly the same for those who did not attend acupuncture sessions.
A Safe, Effective Way to Relieve Morning Sickness
Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy? The answer is yes. If you feel unsure about whether or not you should get the treatment done, ask your doctor before booking an appointment.