Acupuncture is a system of complementary medicine in which fine needles are inserted in the skin at specific points on the body, along what are considered to be lines of energy (meridians) for therapeutic or preventative reasons.

Acupuncture is derived from ancient Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM theory believes that when the mind, body and spirit are in balance or optimum health, the body’s energy or life force (Qi) runs smoothly through the meridian lines. However, if there is a reason the Qi becomes disrupted and does not flow freely, illness or disease can occur, causing an imbalance in ying and yang. The needles may be inserted just under the skin or deeper into the muscle tissue and may be left in place from a few minutes or up to around 45 minutes to balance yin and yang and reinstate equilibrium.

Pulse being taking on a middle aged woman's wrist
acupuncture needle in woman's hand

Acupuncture has been used for over 2000 years in China as a specialised treatment for women in pregnancy care and postpartum recovery. It has become increasingly popular in Western countries, used by practitioners and specially trained midwives in several European countries and New Zealand.

Pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal recovery are seen in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an of opportunity to enhance women’s well-being. The aim of acupuncture is to promote preventive care to strengthen the mother and baby as well as dealing with conditions of pregnancy as they occur during pregnancy. Acupuncture can be used in a variety of ways to promote maternal and fetal health and well- being.

Pregnancy acupuncture is a potentially effective treatment for supporting pregnancy and childbirth which aims to encourage an integrated approach to pregnancy where conventional maternity care may be supported by a drug-free, holistic option offering women a choice to enhance their physical and emotional health, and to address pregnancy discomforts.

How acupuncture can help in pregnancy and childbirth:

There is strong evidence to suggest that acupuncture is beneficial for back and pelvic pain, and it may also help with:

Nausea and vomiting

Heartburn and indigestion

Anxiety and depression

Headaches and migraine

Fatigue and exhaustion

Early pregnancy support

Constipation and haemorrhoids

Varicose veins and vulval varicosities

Birth preparation & natural induction of labour

Preparation for medical induction of labour

Breech babies and babies in posterior position

Musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, pelvic girdle pain, hip pain, sciatica

Carpal tunnel syndrome


Pain relief in labour


Itching in pregnancy


Threatened miscarriage

Mastitis and breastfeeding issues

Postpartum recovery

Tum pregnant woman

Acupuncture should only be used in pregnancy under guidance of a practitioner who is qualified in the use of acupuncture in maternity care. If you have any concerns following a treatment it is important to seek advice from your acupuncturist.

Ready to find out more?