Acupuncture During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

Acupuncture During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

3 Apr 2023 | 6 min Read

Sudeshna Chakravarti

Author | 759 Articles

Acupuncture is a famous form of alternative and traditional Chinese medicine, which helps relieve pressure in your body by targeting certain pressure points. It is helpful for relaxing tightened ligaments and muscles and improves flexibility. But is it safe to get acupuncture during pregnancy? We will answer this question in this post, and also give you more information on this context.

So continue reading to know more about the benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy, the possible risks involved, and when should you consider getting this procedure.

Is Acupuncture During Pregnancy Safe?

Acupuncture During Pregnancy

Acupuncture can help relieve pregnancy aches and discomforts, and also boost your emotional health / Image credit: Freepik

Yes, it is safe to get acupuncture during pregnancy, given you undergo this procedure under the supervision of a trained acupuncturist. Experts believe that one of the main advantages of acupuncture during pregnancy is the avoidance of unnecessary medication. 

Moreover, a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine noted that the chances of adverse reactions to acupuncture during pregnancy were rare. It also revealed that acupuncture was found useful during pregnancy as it helped relieve pressure formed in the pelvic area, and also prepared the body for childbirth.

Benefits Of Acupuncture During Pregnancy

Various studies have deduced that acupuncture can have the following benefits during pregnancy.

  • Reduces vomiting and nausea: According to a study conducted by Adelaide University, women who received traditional acupuncture during pregnancy experienced less vomiting and nausea as compared to women who didn’t. Acupuncture stimulates a specific point called pericardium 6 (located below your wrist), which helps in relieving vomiting and nausea associated with morning sickness.
  • Relieves lower back and pelvic pain: Acupuncture is also effective in relieving lower back and pelvic pain during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Stimulating the pressure point on your foot, along with local tender points can ease your pain, and improve flexibility.
  • Reduces labour pain: Acupuncture also helps reduce the degree of labour pain and also reduces the delivery time.
  • Promotes better sleep: Sleep disturbances are pretty common during pregnancy. Acupuncture therapy can help you sleep better, and can also treat insomnia.
  • May help change your baby’s breech position: When your baby is settled in a bottom-first position, instead of headfirst, they are considered to be in a breech position. According to Science Direct, acupuncture in the form of moxibustion may help correct your baby’s position by encouraging them to turn into the head-down position. 

Possible Side Effects Of Acupuncture During Pregnancy

Acupuncture is known to have a few risks. We have discussed some of the common ones here.

  • This procedure may cause redness or soreness at the site where the needle is inserted.
  • Not choosing a certified practitioner or avoiding safety protocols may be harmful to your pregnancy.
  • Some believe that if certain acupuncture points are stimulated before full-term, it could lead to preterm labour. However, there is no scientific evidence to back this claim.

What Are The Acupuncture Points For Pregnancy?

Acupuncture During Pregnancy

Massaging specific pressure points can help reduce joint discomfort and morning sickness / Image credit: Freepik

Below, we have listed some acupuncture points that are stimulated to relieve pregnancy aches and discomforts. However, since every pregnancy is different, and so are the risks, make sure to consult your doctor regarding safety measures before opting for this procedure. 

  • Pericardium 6 (P6 point): It is also referred to as the seasickness point, as it is associated with nausea. It helps control hiccups, vomiting, and abdomen fullness. It is also beneficial in treating carpal tunnel syndrome, insomnia, and depression.
  • Baihui (DU 20 point): Stimulating this acupuncture point helps clear your mind, lift your spirits, and also prevent the risk of miscarriage. This point is also beneficial in supporting your pelvic floor muscles and preventing uterine prolapse.
  • Conception vessel 17 (CV 17 point): It helps improve mental and emotional health conditions like depression, anxiety, nervousness, and fatigue. It is also useful in boosting your immunity during pregnancy.
  • Zunsali (ST 36 point): This acupuncture point helps relieve nausea and vomiting, gastrointestinal distress, stress, and fatigue. It can also help reduce breast pain and tenderness.
  • Zulinqi (GB 41 point): This acupuncture point is useful for alleviating lower leg pain, hip pain, swollen feet, and cramping of toes. It also helps reduce headaches and breast pain.

When To Opt For Acupuncture During Pregnancy?

It’s best to consult your doctor to decide the right time to start acupuncture during pregnancy. While some doctors may advise starting the therapy in your second trimester, others may recommend acupuncture from the first trimester to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms like morning sickness and heartburn.

You may also consider acupuncture to prepare your body for labour, and continue the treatment post-delivery to support your recovery.

Safety Tips To Consider While Going For Acupuncture During Pregnancy

If you are planning to get acupuncture to relieve common pregnancy discomforts, you may consider the following tips.

  • Consider your health: Take your health into consideration, the medications that you are using, and if you are suffering from any serious health issues.
  • Choose your acupuncturist carefully: Make sure to choose an experienced and certified acupuncturist. Also, consider their license and whether they have a specialisation in pregnancy.
  • Check for signs of inconvenience: Unless you are having acupuncture to induce labour, you should not experience any contractions or discomfort during or after the session. If you notice any unusual symptoms, you should consult your healthcare provider immediately.


You can safely opt for acupuncture during pregnancy after consulting your healthcare provider. A lot of studies show that acupuncture is useful during pregnancy as it helps relax your muscles and ligaments, and also eases the birthing process. 

However, be mindful while choosing your acupuncturist and ensure they have a proper license for this therapy. This is because pressing or massaging the wrong points could lead to complications like preterm labour. Hence, visit an acupuncturist who specialises in performing this therapy on pregnant women. 

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Also Read:

Spicy food during pregnancy: Can you eat spicy food during pregnancy? Tap this post to know the answer.

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Six months pregnant: Here’s exactly what your baby’s development is going to look like during the sixth month of pregnancy.

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