Acupuncturist Questions Pregnancy

Is it safe for me to continue my acupuncture during pregnancy?

I was taking acupuncture to treat my cholesterol problem. But, now I'm pregnant. I've read mixed reviews about whether to continue my acupuncture sessions, and my physician advised against it. Do you think it would be okay to continue my acupuncture session while pregnant?

36 Answers

Those of us trained in the Traditional way know which points are avoided. So if you have a qualified professional, there should be no harm done. If you have an acupuncturist that specializes in women's health, that would be even better. Good Luck!
Yes. You would need to find an experienced acupuncturist for your acupuncture session while pregnant.

Please visit www.acupunctureofchinesemedicine.com and Facebook.com/AcupunctureHealthCareCenter for more information.

Thank you,
Hui(Grace) Gao LAc., TCMD
There are some points contraindicated for pregnancy. Licensed Acupuncturists are trained to know which points not to use.
Often acupuncture helps with nausea due to pregnancy.
There are acupuncturist specialists who treat infertility and OBGYN problems. Go to www.https://aborm.org to find a specialist.
Acupuncture is generally safe with pregnancy, but you should seek treatment from someone who is fully trained and board-certified. There are certain points that are contraindicated in pregnancy cases, but the properly trained acupuncturists would know these along with other precautions to take for pregnancy cases.
Many women who find it difficult to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to full term seek out the help of licensed acupuncturists. These treatments not only protect the pregnancy, but often allow those who experience frequent miscarriages to have a successful birth. I am sure that if your current acupuncturist is not experienced in this area, there are others who are and can assist you.
There are points that you cannot use on pregnant patients. If you avoid those points, it is safe to get acupuncture.
As long as you are not lying down on your stomach for treatment, I see no harm in continuing with acupuncture treatments.
As long as your Acupuncturist is licensed and also experienced treating pregnant women then it's very safe.
Acupuncture is relatively safe during pregnancy, and in fact, we treat many pregnant women for a variety of discomforts, from morning sickness to low back pain. Read more in our blog post: http://healingwithzen.com/acupuncture-and-pregnancy/

Of course, every case is different and we would not advise against your doctor's wishes, but acupuncture is relatively harmless and our pregnant patients appreciate the relief they receive from this natural modality of treatment!
No. I recommend stopping your treatments during your pregnancy. There are certain points causing miscarriage. Consult with your doctor to control your blood pressure. Thanks
There are some acupuncture points that are prohibited during pregnancy. Please let the acupuncturist know that you are pregnant so they can avoid those points. We do see patients who are pregnant for all sorts of other issues without any complications.
Some areas (lower abdomen..) and some acupuncture points are not recommended during pregnancy. Some areas (head, hands and legs..) are okay for acupuncture during pregnancy. Please discuss this issue with your acupuncturist.
There are only a few points that affect pregnancy. It's up to your acupuncturist in what they feel comfortable with.
Absolutely. It is very safe to use acupuncture during pregnancy. Acupuncture is very effective in treating pregnant women. It can help with the different symptoms like nausea, swelling, and fatigue. Also, it can help tremendously with the development and strengthening of the embryo.
There are a few points that are forbidden during pregnancy, which the practitioner will avoid. However, there are many amazing points to be used that help the bond between the mother and the fetus and others that help strengthen the fetus.
There are certain points that are considered to be dangerous for pregnant women; it can cause uterus contraction. Avoiding those points, it should be fine.
Not only is it safe, it is beneficial for you and the baby to continue acupuncture throughout your pregnancy. Find an acupuncturist with plenty of experience working with prenatal care. Personally, it is one of my very favorite conditions to treat, and the reason I became a practitioner in the first place! And it can really help labor go quicker and smoother.
I would not go against your doctor's advice.
I think it is absolutely okay to continue acupuncture during pregnancy, as long as your acupuncturist is comfortable treating you. Acupuncture is safe during pregnancy and can actually help with many symptoms that often come with pregnancy (i.e., nausea, swelling, back pain, etc.).
Absolutely. Chinese medicine practitioners have been treating women through pregnancy for centuries. Just be sure you go to someone who is ABORM certified. This is a practitioner that specializes in reproductive health. Acupuncture can help with all sorts of accompanying symptoms to pregnancy as well as relax and prepare the muscles and mind for a smooth and quick delivery.
Hi,

Congratulations on your pregnancy, I hope your baby is happy, healthy and gives you decades of joy as a mother. The reason there is mixed reviews about acupuncture during pregnancy is multi-fold, but I can hopefully guide you to an appropriate choice for yourself. I cannot properly advise on your case since I have not met you in person, but here are some guidelines.

1. Acupuncture can actually assist with a healthy pregnancy when the mother has a healthy body, the problems come in with certain points that are traditionally considered "forbidden during pregnancy". Anyone properly trained in Chinese medicine is very aware of these points, even though, in modern times with the modern style of needles the risk is minimally problematic.

Generally, points above the uterus or low back are avoided and points considered "forbidden" i.e. LI-4, SP 6, GB-21 are avoided because they have strong 'moving and descending' properties. Again, in a healthy body and later in the pregnancy they are less problematic - mostly only problems in first trimester. To be safe, though, most all practitioners know to stay clear of those, especially if mother is prone to miscarriage.

2. Depending on the health of the mother (you), points can be needled, activated and removed (called "in and out" needling or "non-retained" needle technique) but still be useful. This way, the points are still activated, but the needles are not left in the body, so they do not "drain energy". When the mother (you) is weaker, long retention of needles can be considered 'draining'.

3. Acupuncture can help regulate the hormones, the circulation, the emotions, etc, so acupuncture while pregnant can help with "pregnancy issues" i.e. you can get acupuncture to help your body do it's job as a baby making body instead of working on "cholesterol" issues and that way "build" instead of "remove". One potential problem I see is while maintaining cholesterol levels one might "drain" the channels.

That would mostly be problematic if the practitioner was overly aggressive in their tactics - if so, they could reduce the aggressive nature of the treatment i.e. do "more mild" type approaches (such as "in and out needling" as mentioned above or select points that generically tonify the body's functions instead of pushing it in one direction).

Again, a licensed professional, well trained practitioner would consider all of these possibilities and options, so speak to your L.Ac., let them know you are pregnant and that you want your treatments to continue but want to go slow while pregnant.

4. IF YOU ARE PRONE TO MISCARRIAGE - if you have had miscarriages in the past and getting pregnant was very difficult for you, I would most likely either reduce treatments or hold off until the baby is born. If not, then refer back to the previous paragraph.

5. Please make sure that you are getting acupuncture from a Licensed Acupuncturist, who has full training in Chinese medicine - not a DC or MD who took some courses and certainly not from a PT who only took "dry needling" classes.

Good luck and again, Congratulations. :-)
This is a tricky one. Generally speaking, acupuncture is safe in pregnancy. However, there are some points that are prohibited as they are classically thought to induce labor.

So long as you're seeing a board certified acupuncturist (someone who actually went to oriental medical school and carries an NCCAOM board certification versus a physical therapist or chiropractor), you should be fine. Just make sure your practitioner knows you are pregnant.
Hi,

I believe all well-trained acupuncturists know some points can't be used during pregnancy. It is quite safe to continue to get acupuncture treatment, especially if you are worried about taking medicine during this period of time.

Hope your physician can understand this. BTW, change in diet is also good for the cholesterol problem. You also can consider this option.

Will this be your first baby? Congratulations!

Huan Wen Jonathan Fang
If you see a licensed acupuncturist, it is not only safe to get treatments, but also extremely helpful to both you and your baby. Acupuncturists are VERY highly trained and skilled at their jobs, and know precisely what they can safely do or not do. Most physicians don't know much about our field, so they can't comfortably recommend it. I don't blame them. But rest assured, it is as safe a form of health care as any other, maybe more so. And we have specific training on how to deal with pregnant women at all stages. So yes, I would absolutely recommend continuing your acupuncture now that you're pregnant.

Just an aside, I treat women who are attempting to get pregnant, those who have morning sickness and back pain, I have turned a breach baby, and I help induce labor. There is no part of the process in which acupuncture cannot be a help.

And congratulations!!
Hi, 

First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy. Acupuncture is perfectly safe during pregnancy. It will actually help you during pregnancy as well as your delivery and the postpartum recovery. There are a few acupuncture points to avoid during pregnancy and your acupuncturist should know these points.

Sincerely and wish you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery,

Scott Sang In LeeChun Am Acupuncture천암 한의원 
You should absolutely continue - there are many benefits to receiving acupuncture during pregnancy. I’m sorry your doctor is misinformed on the subject.

Sincerely,

Amy Gendron, AP
If you are having gestational related symptoms, it is OK. Otherwise, you can stop after giving birth. Cholesterol issue usually needs to take Chinese herbal medicine. Acupuncture itself is not very effective in my experience.
It is a great question. Please follow this link for article published in 2014: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112450/

Good luck,

Danny Khounh
It is absolutely safe to do acupuncture during pregnancy. Moreover, it is highly recommended to do acupuncture weekly during the first trimester to support growth and healthy pregnancy. There are specific acupuncture points that are forbidden to use during pregnancy, but each and every licensed acupuncturist knows exactly which ones to avoid needling.
I personally did acupuncture with all my three pregnancies. I'm treating pregnant women daily.
It is 100% okay and safe to continue acupuncture during pregnancy. A large portion of my patients have seen me while pregnant, and rave about the experience. A licensed acupuncturist will know which points and protocols are advised during pregnancy, so find someone you trust, and ENJOY some relief!!!
It is perfectly safe to receive acupuncture during pregnancy. In fact, because it has no deleterious effects on the growing fetus, it is often the treatment of choice for pregnancy-related symptoms, such as morning sickness and nausea, back pain, and fatigue. In addition, acupuncture can be used to to treat any other condition from which a woman is suffering. A
licensed acupuncturist is fully trained to know which points are contraindicated during pregnancy and, in fact, which points can be used to treat breech position and to induce labor, when appropriate.

Richard Mandell, Lic.Ac.
It is absolutely safe to continue with acupuncture during pregnancy so long as your acupuncturist is made aware that you are pregnant. There are certain points we avoid as they can induce labor, turn the baby, etc.
During the first trimester, acupuncture is safe. From the second trimester on, there are specific points and areas of the body that are to be avoided during pregnancy. Your board certified acupuncturist should be aware of this. Acupuncture also helps stimulate labor if it is delayed, can help with a malpositioned fetus (breach), as well as pan during labor. Talk to your board certified acupuncturist.
Hello,

If your acupuncture doctor is knowledgeable and had good experience treating pregnant women, it should NOT be a problem at all.
Acupuncture can help a pregnancy syndrome. However, depending on the duration of your pregnancy, you should be carefully consider the depth and acupuncture point. Acupuncture has a very long history of curing for treatment during pregnancy. So, please visit your clinic and talk to your acupuncture doctor. Then, I believe that your acupuncture treatment can solve your problem.
Absolutely. There are points we avoid during pregnancy, but most points are perfectly safe and can help increase energy and reduce symptoms such as nausea and appetite, especially in the first and last trimesters.
You ask a very important question. Many women find acupuncture helpful in managing issues that arise during pregnancy...BUT...some acupuncture points must be avoided during pregnancy, such as those that stimulate uterine contractions. So, be sure to work with an acupuncturist with knowledge of points that are "forbidden" during pregnancy.