Acupuncture and pregnancy

By: Stephanie Curran, Mar 21, 2013

Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?

Ancient practice can ease pregnancy symptoms and help you prepare for labour

It is. You definitely want to consult with someone who is comfortable working with pregnancy and find someone who has done continuing education and specialization in that area. There are some points that are contraindicated, and that you would not want acupuncture done on, but someone who is skilled and qualified in working with pregnancy will know that. Acupuncture is safe throughout the entire pregnancy.

For women in the first trimester with a history of miscarriage, acupuncture can help with holding and supporting the early weeks of pregnancy. It can help ease nausea quite a bit as well.

In the second and third trimester, it can help with the aches and pains as the body is shifting and growing. Around 32-34 weeks, if the baby is breech, acupuncture and acupressure can help get the head down.

Around 37 weeks, we can use acupuncture to start cervical ripening and prepare for birth. There are some acupressure techniques you can use at home to encourage the little one to start moving down in the cervix. These points are on your arms, legs, lower back and shoulders.

Many women also ask if we are pushing on those points, will they immediately go into labour? If it were that easy, we wouldn’t need any drugs to induce pregnancy! Putting pressure on these areas will not cause an immediate release of the baby. Try to avoid these points in the first trimester, however, if there has been any spotting or a history of miscarriage.

Stephanie Curran, R.TCM.P, graduated from the International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Vancouver in 2000 with a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine Diploma. Stephanie furthered her studies with advanced acupuncture training in China, where she completed a hospital internship program. Stephanie has been in private practice in Victoria, B.C. since 2000 and founded the Elements of Health Centre in 2006. She has devoted much of her practice to treating women’s health issues and has completed many specialized courses in the application of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for treating reproductive and pregnancy conditions. Stephanie has studied under notable TCM gynecology and infertility experts such as Dr. Randine Lewis, author of “The Infertility Cure,” Bob Flaws, author of “Fulfilling the Essence: Chinese Treatments for Female Infertility” and Jane Lyttleton, author of “Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine.” She is a past instructor at the Canadian College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Victoria, where she taught a course in blending both eastern and western sciences to treat sports injuries and soft tissue pathologies. Learn more at