Is It Safe To Get Acupuncture While Pregnant?

Acupuncture is a traditional practice that includes the insertion of tiny, thin needles in specific points of the skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, acupuncture is most commonly used to relieve pain but is becoming more popular as a treatment for one's overall health, such as managing stress. Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine and is used when one's energy flow, or chi, is out of balance. To re-balance the pathways (or meridians) in the body, tiny needles are strategically placed into the body.

However, researchers in the West believe when those specific points on the body are hit with a tiny needle, nerves and tissues in the body's central nervous system are stimulated. In turn, they boost endorphins, the body's natural painkillers (via the Mayo Clinic). When endorphins are stimulated, they can change one's emotional and physical well-being, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Some may feel more energized or relaxed and experience less pain, but this will vary by person.

Acupuncture treatment during pregnancy

It's no secret pregnancy can cause uncomfortable symptoms, like back pain. Many pregnant people turn to acupuncture to relieve some of these pregnancy symptoms, including other aches and pains from a rapidly growing body. According to the DeCicco Acupuncture Group, acupuncture is safe during all stages of pregnancy unless advised against by your doctor. However, there are specific points, also known as "Forbidden Points" on the body, that should be avoided during pregnancy. If your doctor says acupuncture is safe to do during pregnancy, let your acupuncturist know ahead of time.

In addition to pain, acupuncture has also been shown to relieve morning sickness, which is nausea or vomiting during pregnancy. Healthline reports the stimulation of the P6 acupuncture point can have an influence on the digestive system by easing morning sickness. This means not only can pregnant people reap the benefit of relief from morning sickness through acupuncture, but those outside of pregnancy can as well. While acupuncture is typically safe for most pregnancies, it can cause slight complications, such as pain and swelling at the insertion site. There is also the possibility of a severe reaction as well, so it's important to check with your doctor first.