Acupuncture for Pregnancy Symptoms

Acupuncture for Pregnancy Symptoms.

Pregnancy is a time of significant and rapid changes for a woman's body. Common symptoms include nausea and vomiting (morning sickness), fatigue, body pains and aches, swollen feet and ankles, constipation and haemorrhoids. The chance of miscarriage is highest in the first trimester (12 weeks) of pregnancy and symptoms of threatened miscarriage including abdominal cramps and vaginal bleeding must be investigated promptly.

Is Acupuncture Effective for Pregnancy Symptoms?

Don't just take our word for it. The following clinical trials have scientifically examined the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for pregnancy symptoms.

Only reputable papers recently published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years are listed below.



Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing
Effects of self-acupressure on pregnancy-related constipation: A single-blind randomized controlled study
Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing

This study's evidence indicates that self-administered acupressure can effectively alleviate the symptoms of constipation in clinical practice during pregnancy.

2020, Jul 25 • Ayça Åžolt Kirca,Derya Kanza Gül Full Article

Nature and Science of Sleep
Effect of Acupuncture on Pregnancy-Related Insomnia and Melatonin: A Single-Blinded, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial
Nature and Science of Sleep

Acupuncture was shown to significantly improve the sleep quality in pregnant women, possibly through increasing melatonin secretion, and could be recommended as a low-cost and low-risk alternative treatment to pharmacological therapies.

2020, May 13 • Foroughinia S, Hessami K, Asadi N, Foroughinia L, Hadianfard M, Hajihosseini A, Pirasteh N, Vossoughi M, Vafaei H, Faraji A, Kasraeian M, Doroudchi M, Rafiee Monjezi M, Roozmeh S, Bazrafshan K. Full Article

Journal of the Chinese Medical Association
Traditional Chinese acupuncture and postpartum depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Journal of the Chinese Medical Association Chinese Medical Association, Taipei

Patients in the acupuncture group had significantly better performances assessed by the Hamilton Depression Scale than those in the control group. In addition, significantly better performance in the effective rate was observed in the acupuncture group than in the control group. Traditional Chinese acupuncture seems to be effective in improving some symptoms of PPD.

2019, Sep • Tong, Ping; Dong, Li-Ping; Yang, Yang; Shi, Yuan-Hong; Sun, Ting; Bo, Ping Full Article

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Does acupuncture have a role in the treatment of threatened miscarriage? Findings from a feasibility randomised trial and semi-structured participant interviews
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Forty women were successfully randomised. For women receiving acupuncture there was a statically significant reduction with threatened miscarriage symptoms including bleeding, cramping and back pain compared with the control. Acupuncture was a feasible intervention and reduced threatened miscarriage symptoms when compared to a touch intervention. Further research is required to further explore acupuncture use for this common complication and whether it can reduce the incidence of miscarriage.

2016, Oct 17 • Betts D, Smith CA, Dahlen HG. Full Article

Journal of Advanced Nursing
A systematic review investigating the effectiveness of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for the management of low back and/or pelvic pain (LBPP) in pregnancy
Journal of Advanced Nursing

Amongst Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) acupuncture showed both clinically important changes and statistically significant results for management of low back and/or pelvic pain (LBPP) in pregnancy.

2014, Mar 9 • Close C, Sinclair M, Liddle SD, Madden E, McCullough JE, Hughes C. Full Article

Medical Acupuncture
Efficacy and Safety of Needle Acupuncture for Treating Gynecologic and Obstetric Disorders: An Overview
Medical Acupuncture American Academy of Medical Acupuncture

Evidence for the efficacy of needle acupuncture for treating the disorders showed promising results for reducing pelvic and back pain during pregnancy and climacteric vasomotor symptoms.

2013, Dec • Selva Olid A, Martinez Zapata MJ, Sola I, Stojanovic Z, Uriona Tuma SM, Bonfill Cosp X. Full Article

Medical Acupuncture
Acupuncture for Treating Anxiety and Depression in Women: A Clinical Systematic Review
Medical Acupuncture American Academy of Medical Acupuncture

With respect to six reviewed studies, there is high-level evidence to support the use of acupuncture for treating major depressive disorder in pregnancy.

2013, Jan • Sniezek DP, Siddiqui IJ. Full Article

Obstetrics & Gynecology
Acupuncture for Depression during Pregnancy: a Randomized Controlled Trial
Obstetrics & Gynecology American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The short acupuncture protocol demonstrated symptom reduction and a response rate comparable to those observed in standard depression treatments of similar length and could be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy.

2010, Jan • Manber R, Schnyer RN, Lyell D, Chambers AS, Caughey AB, Druzin M, Carlyle E, Celio C, Gress JL, Huang MI, Kalista T, Martin-Okada R, Allen JJ. Full Article


Acupuncture points
Acupuncture is comparable with morphine preparations in its effectiveness against chronic pain, but without the adverse effects of morphine, such as dependency. Acupuncture : review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials
World Health Organization, Geneva 2002