Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncturist

Is acupuncture safe during first trimester?

I am a 30 year old female. I want to know if acupuncture is safe during the first trimester?

27 Answers

Yes, it is safe to have acupuncture during the first trimester. However, I would avoid using certain points, such as Large Intestine 4, Spleen 6, etc.
Many women who are newly pregnant ask me whether acupuncture is safe during pregnancy- specifically during the first trimester. They really want to try or continue acupuncture for a variety of reasons, but are quite mindful of avoiding anything that could put the pregnancy at risk. I can say it is safe without hesitation, not only from my nearly 10 years in practice but from all the years of experience of my teachers and mentors. However I completely understand that women, their doctors and midwives want more than just anecdotal evidence. So without further ado- here are the studies which I feel should put your mind at ease.

Pregnancy Outcome Following Women’s Participation In A Randomized Controlled Trial of Acupuncture to Treat Nausea and Vomiting in Early Pregnancy, Smith C et al., Complement Ther Med. 2002 Jun;10(2):78-83.
This study, the largest to date, looked at just under 600 women, and was a randomized controlled trial (RCT), considered the gold standard of study design. The researchers compared women who had gotten two types of acupuncture, “sham” acupuncture or no acupuncture at all. They concluded there were no differences in perinatal outcomes (including miscarriage), congenital abnormalities, complications during pregnancy or any differences between the health of the infants. Since the study was quite large and was an RCT, we can have a high degree of confidence that the findings are valid.

2. Cochrane Review: Interventions for Nausea and Vomiting of Early Pregnancy, Matthews A et al, Sept. 2015

This link is to a Cochrane Review, which looks at many different studies, analyzes the quality of data in the studies and draws conclusions based on them all. This review actually concluded that there is no high quality evidence for any method’s efficacy in treating nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy (it’s important to note this is not to say that nothing helps, just that more studies need to be done), however, for the purposes of this blog post, the most important conclusion drawn was that there is no evidence of increased rates of miscarriage for women who received acupuncture or acupressure.

Now that you hopefully feel more certain that acupuncture is safe during pregnancy, it’s important to point out one caveat- it’s safe when performed by a trained and licensed professional.
Acupuncture is safe through all trimesters. Any licensed practitioner knows which points to avoid during pregnancy. If you are putting your health into the hands of a seasoned acupuncturist, you can put your baby in those hands as well and know that he or she will use a gentle technique and will check in with you throughout your treatment session. Congrats on your pregnancy and give acupuncture a try!!!!
Yes it is safe with some conditions or points to avoid poking.
Acupuncture is safe in the first, second, and third trimester. Just be sure to ask your acupuncturist if they have experience treating pregnant women.

Yvonne R. Farrell, DAOM, LAc

As long as you see a licensed acupuncturist, they are trained to be able to administer a safe during your entire pregnancy and can help a lot with morning sickness!
Yes. Absolutely. However, you need to find an Acupuncturist who has a lot of experience needling pregnant women. DO NOT let an MD, Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, or anyone other than a Nationally Board Certified "Acupuncturist" needle you. And, be careful. MD's can do a Mail Order Course and get a Medical Acupuncturist Designation. But they only have to do 100 hours and frequently have a staff member do it for them. Only an NCCAOM Board Certified Acupuncturist with a Current Certificate.
Yes, we are helping a lot of pregnant women on first trimester such as with morning sickness etc.
Yes, it is safe, but some acupuncture points we couldn't use for pregnancy patients.
Yes, it is safe when practiced by a licensed, experienced practitioner. Acupuncture is often used to help alleviate morning sickness or other digestive issues, threatened miscarriage, pain, and other issues.

Rawls Whittlesey, L. Ac.

For more about why acupuncture is beneficial in pregnancy:
Good afternoon,

Generally speaking, it is safe, but there are some control points that should not be used during the first trimester. Talk to your acupuncturist.

Absolutely. An experienced acupuncturist can treat you safely through your entire pregnancy.
Acupuncture is safe throughout pregnancy, however there are specific points that need to be avoided while pregnant. Your acupuncturist will know which points to avoid.
Acupuncture is safe throughout the entire pregnancy.
Some acupuncturists do not treat pregnant women for liability concerns. I treat anyone who shows up at my office. So opinions on that vary, from practitioner to practitioner. In my career so far, everything that goes wrong is the acupuncturist's fault, and everything that goes right is someone else's. Thankfully I didn't embark on this career path for credit but to help people. :-)

So for me, yes, it is safe. I have treated many women experiencing things such as morning sickness and have seen remarkable success. It also helps strengthen the developing child (as it strengthens the mother).
If it's done safely and properly. I treat a lot of morning sickness the first trimester.
There are certain acupuncture points to avoid during pregnancy, but generally speaking yes, acupuncture is safe through out the whole pregnancy
Yes. Acupuncture is safe throughout pregnancy but you must inform your practitioner that you are pregnant as there are certain points we must avoid to keep the baby safe (such as deep needling of points on the lower abdomen).
We frequently treat morning sickness with acupuncture in the first trimester.
Yes, but some points may better never be used even in your early pregnancy, such as hegu, ziyin, etc.
Assuming you're seeing an actual board certified, state licensed acupuncturist, yes, acupuncture is safe over the entire course of a pregnancy. You want someone with an L.Ac./R.Ac. credential and preferably a Dipl Ac/Dipl OM national board certification.