Acupuncture & Herbs During Pregnancy

One thing that’s made very clear to expecting mothers is that things which are safe for grown women are not necessarily safe for children growing in the womb. Some of these things are widely publicized – alcohol perhaps having the top spot on the list. But this need for caution extends to everything a pregnant woman is taking. So – does this mean acupuncture and herbs are safe during pregnancy?

The answer is it depends. In general, acupuncture and herbs are safe for a pregnant woman, but your acupuncturist is likely to alter anything they’ve been doing for you when you become pregnant. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Certain acupuncture points can induce labor or turn a fetus. Sometimes we want this – breech presentations or delayed labor raise the risks during delivery, so acupuncture can be used specifically for these conditions! Most of the time though, typically harmless points are avoided to ensure there’s no risk to a fetus.
  2. Certain types of herbs can increase your chance of a miscarriage. Typically herbs are safe during pregnancy, but caution is still needed. Most commonly herbalists will alter a formula for pregnant women or significantly lower the dosage during the pregnancy. And it goes without saying that patients with a history of miscarriage need to be especially careful when taking herbs.
  3. Women’s bodies tend to react differently while pregnant.This one isn’t unique to acupuncture or herbs. Organs shift around, blood pressure & glucose metabolism changes, and all sorts of physical changes occur that can alter what kinds of work needs to be done in an acupuncture treatment.

The flipside of all these risks is that many conditions that can occur in pregnancy (threatened miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia) can be managed or treated very well. So acupuncture or herbal treatment do not have to be stopped or avoided during pregnancy, so long as your therapist is cautious.

If you are expecting and are looking for help managing your health during pregnancy, please schedule your consultation today.