Berkeley Acupuncture • Pregnancy Acupuncture

Acupuncture Treatment during Pregnancy

by Nancy Rakela, OMD, LAc

First Trimester of Pregnancy

Weekly acupuncture treatment during the first 12-14 weeks of pregnancy is beneficial for alleviating morning sickness, preventing miscarriage and helping with fatigue.

Morning sickness

Many pregnant women experience some morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy. As most women are reluctant to use conventional pharmaceuticals to help alleviate their symptoms, acupuncture can be a safe drug-free treatment to reduce nausea and vomiting.


Fatigue is normal during the first trimester of pregnancy. The restful and rejuvenating effect of acupuncture helps pregnant women feel rested and much less fatigued. Acupuncture treatment also helps with insomnia which can contribute to fatigue.

Preventing Miscarriage

Acupuncture helps prevent miscarriage by reducing stress, improving circulation and blood flow to the uterus and fetus, and strengthening all the organ systems of the body. It also helps prevent autoimmune reactions like increased natural killer cells that might contribute to miscarriage.

Second Trimester of Pregnancy: Promote Baby Development

Newborn In Chinese medicine, there is a saying, To help the child, treat the mother. In pregnancy this is especially true. Keeping the mother-to-be healthy from the beginning to the end of the pregnancy, will strengthen and promote good development of the baby.

Most women feel good during their second trimester of pregnancy. Acupuncture is recommended twice per month. If you are pregnant with twins acupuncture is still recommended weekly throughout your entire pregnancy. Some women have minor symptoms, such as: constipation, heartburn, hypertension, insomnia, sinusitis and skin rashes; all these can be helped with acupuncture treatment.

Third Trimester: Pre-Birth Treatment, Labor Preparation & Pain Relief

The month prior to the birth, weeks 36-40, is the best time to prepare your body for labor and delivery. Acupuncture pre-birth treatment helps prepare the mother-to-be for an efficient labor with less anxiety.

An acupuncture study of 167 women in New Zealand found that acupuncture once per week for the four weeks prior to delivery promoted an efficient labor with less medical intervention, decreased labor time, reduced caesarian section rate, reduced pain medication during labor. The women received fewer epidurals and there was less need for the use of the drug oxytosin to speed up contractions.

Acupuncture treatment for labor promotes readiness of the cervix, increases the strength and frequency of contractions, reduces fear, anxiety and exhaustion, and helps with pain management.

More information

See more information on breech delivery, pain relief during labor, and post partum care.

Nancy Rakela, OMD, LAc., has helped women deal with the physical and emotional changes that affect them during pregnancy for 25 years. Call us at 510.540.6267 to set up an appointment.

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