Common Pregnancy Complaints

There is a wealth of research to validate the potential uses of acupuncture in the treatment of many common pregnancy complaints. These include morning sickness, constipation and heartburn. Please refer to the research  page if you would like to read more about the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of pregnancy discomforts.

Acupuncture can effectively & safely assist with the following:

  • Threatened Miscarriage
  • Fatigue
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Anaemia
  • Constipation
  • Muscle and joint pain, ( shoulders, back, symphysis pubis)
  • Pelvic instability
  • Heartburn
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Leg cramps
  • Pregnancy Induced Hypertension
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Oedema
  • Carpal tunnel

Threatened Miscarriage
Threatened miscarriage, if due to an imbalance in the mother’s system (but not if due to genetic problems with the fetus), can often be overcome with application of herbs with moxa or acupuncture.

It is thought that one in three pregnancies miscarries; some women do not even realise they are pregnant. It is important to note that most cases of early miscarriage (sometimes called spontaneous abortion) are not related to an imbalance in the mother’s system but are rather a natural and fairly common event, possibly due to a development problem of the embryo.

The causes of miscarriage include nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, infection, anatomical problems of the uterus and cervix, exposure to harmful substances, maternal age and autoimmune or chromosomal fetal disorders. Symptoms of a threatened miscarriage are backache, abdominal cramping, and pain resembling period pains, spotting or bleeding.

It is important to contact your obstetrician and then the clinic at any signs of miscarriage so treatment can begin immediately.

Fatigue
Due to the intense demand placed on the mother’s resources by the growing fetus, all pregnant women experience fatigue. While nothing can substitute for sleep and a nourishing diet, acupuncture ensures that the internal organs are functioning optimally, therefore increasing energy.

Morning Sickness
Acupuncture is very effective in reducing both the severity and incidence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.  Most women only need two treatments to start to feel better and some women need to come regularly for a month before they maintain a good effect. Initially treatment is twice a week for two weeks, then slowly cutting down as the nausea decreases.  It is also important to eat small meals and healthy snacks every couple of hours to stabalise blood sugar levels.  Avoid dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt and icecream) and orange juice as these foods can make nausea worse.

Musculoskeletal pain
Back pain, rib pain, sciatica and symphysis pubis pain are common in later stags of pregnancy and can all be markedly reduced with acupuncture.  Back pain in early pregnancy can be due to other causes and should be thoroughly check out by an obstetrician of midwife.  Acupuncture works by bringing more circulation to the area and helping to reduce inflammation, reducing swelling and relaxing the muscles so that spasms cease. Acupuncture also affects the nervous system and helps to reduce the pain response being elicited from the troubled area.

Oedema
Women with mild oedema will usually come for treatment in the later stages of pregnancy as their body struggles to cope with the extra fluids generated by the pregnancy. Treatment is focused around managing the symptoms, as mild oedema will resolve following childbirth.

We suggest self administered moxa treatment to supplement acupuncture treatment.  This is performed daily for a period of seven consecutive days. It may take until the fifth day before there is a notable improvement.

It is important to consult your midwife or doctor of your oedema as this could mark the beginning of pregnancy induced hypertension.

Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH)
Acupuncture can have an important role in assisting to reduce high blood pressure, especially if treatment is commenced early when hypertension is first noted. The effectiveness of acupuncture will be reflected in improved blood pressure readings and blood tests used by midwives and GP’s to detect possible complications.  As hypertension has the potential to escalate quickly, ongoing monitoring with a midwife or gynaecologist remains essential throughout pregnancy