Acupuncture For Pregnancy

 Pregnancy Acupuncture in Melbourne

Acupuncture for Labour Induction, Morning Sickness and Breech

Pregnancy is a normal and natural part of life for most women,  and for many, the process from conception, pregnancy and onset of labour and delivery goes well with very few complications. Of course in some case this is not the case and women may seek medical assistance. Potential clients of ours often seek information from our Melbourne Clinic about pregnancy acupuncture. Some information about morning sickness, inductions and breech presentations has been presented below.

Acupuncture for Morning Sickness

Upwards of 2/3rds of pregnant women will experience nausea and vomiting at the beginning of their pregnancy. Generally morning sickness is self limiting and usually occurs between the 4th -14th weeks. 20% of women may have these symptoms into their 2nd trimester. In a small amount of cases a more serious form of morning sickness may develop called gravidarum emesis. Generally the symptoms are mild and can be managed without medication or further intervention. Small snacks, Vitamin B6 supplementation, avoiding triggering smells, food and environments. In some instances a treating medical doctor may prescribe some baby safe anti-emetics. Whenever there is vomiting, it is important to monitor hydration levels (1).

Acupuncture for Morning Sickness - Research

Nausea and vomiting - Acupuncture has been found to be a useful adjunct in the treatment of nausea and vomiting - especially in post chemo and post operative circumstances . This is a promising effect of nausea and vomiting -sympptoms that area so prevalent in mornings sickness. Acupuncture for morning sickness may not yet beconsidered a good option for sole treatment but could be considered an additional treatment alongside conventional treatment.

Acupuncture for Labour Induction

Only 5% of babies are born on their due date, with the majority falling between 37-41 weeks. Your treating physicians may start discussion medical induction because as the pregnancy continues beyond 41 weeks the medical necessity of medical induction or other interventions will increase. Often this will begin with a stretch and sweep to see if labour can be started. Some hospital have policies of allowing only 10 days after the due date, others it 14. In other cases with higher risk pregnancies such as twins induction may discussed earlier. Other forms of medical induction include prostaglandin gels, oxytocin drips and the cervical balloon.  Acupuncture for induction maybe recommended as an option by your midwife. we would encourage you to discuss labour induction acupuncture with your birth team.

Acupuncture for Labour Induction - Research

Induction of labour - A 2011 study found that electroacupuncture was useful to achieve cervical ripening prior to labour induction (5) A 2015 SR review contradicted earlier findings of a Cochrane review and reported that acupuncture may reduce the length of labour, especially during the first stage of labour. The findings are considered unclear and more research is required before more concrete recommendations can be made about acupuncture induction (4). Debra Betts a respected acupuncturist and mid wife suggests it may be that prebirth acupuncture which aims to prepare a woman’s body for labour, whereas acupuncture induction aims to stimulate contractions. It could be that stimulating uterine contractions without an individualised approach to address factors such as cervical ripening, the baby’s position, emotional factors, and physical stamina has limited beneficial effects in terms of labour outcomes (6).   

Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Breech Babies

About 1 in 25 babies are in a breech position at 36 weeks. An option to perform an ECV procedure at 37 weeks may be discussed with you. If the procedure to rectify the breech presentation is unsuccessful, you may wish to discuss your options for a vaginal birth, otherwise a caesarian may be scheduled. If the health service are with does not offer vaginal birth for breech, you have the right to ask for which health services or doctors can offer this (3). A transverse lie, also known as a transverse breech presentation can put child and/or mother at risk if a vaginal birth were to occur and a early emergency caesarian will be scheduled. In any case have a chat to your midwife and treating practitioner aboutacupuncture or moxibustion for turning breech babies.

Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Breech - Research

Breech - The use of moxibustion applied to the little toe for difficult labour was first mentioned in the Moxibustion Methods for Emergencies by Wenren Qinian in 1226. In Chinese hospitals this technique has been used to treat breech presentations for decades, however the research to date, although promising, is not yet sufficient for this method to be incorporated into clinical practice guidelines for obstetricians in Australia, although the New Zealand clinical practice guidelines do recommend it. 

Our Melbourne Acupuncture Clinic

Our clinic is experienced in working with women in all stages of pregnancy. We can find a comfortable position for you regardless of how heavily pregnant you are. Although induction acupuncture and Breech acupuncture and moxibustion can use specific acupuncture protocols we still prefer to treat you in an individual and holistic manner. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine look at the mind and body as a whole. We will talk to you about why you have come in and what we can do to help. We will then review other aspects of your health like your  activities, sleep quality, aches and pains,  and energy levels. After palpating your pulse and/or abdomen,  we then decide upon a course of treatment that we will discuss with you. At Coburg Chinese medicine we support an integrative and inclusive approach to treatment.

Based in Melbourne, the  Coburg Clinic services people from Coburg and surrounding Northern suburbs such as Brunswick, Pascoe Vale, Preston, Fawkner, Thornbury, Northcote.  If you wish to discuss how acupuncture can assist you call us on 03 9041 656

Call us on ☎ (03) 9041 6569 to arrange an appointment or book online below


1. (2013). Pregnancy - morning sickness. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Feb. 2018].

2. (2018). Overdue babies. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Feb. 2018].

3. Pregnancy, Birth & Baby. (2016). Breech Birth. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Feb. 2018].

4. McDonald, John & Janz, Stephen. (2016). The Acupuncture Evidence Project : A Comparative Literature Review (Revised). Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association Ltd, Coorparoo

. Gribel, G., Coca-Velarde, L. and Moreira de Sá, R. (2010). Electroacupuncture for cervical ripening prior to labor induction: a randomized clinical trial. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 283(6), pp.1233-1238.

6 Betts, D. (2018). Acupuncture to Induce labour. [online] Debra Betts: Acupuncture and Acupressure for pregnancy and childbirth. Available at: [Accessed 15 Feb. 2018].