Acupuncture is perfectly safe during pregnancy if performed by a qualified, licensed
practitioner. As a qualified practitioner, I know the appropriate points to needle and the
contraindicated points to needle during each phase of pregnancy. Most women come in for
acupuncture at the first and second trimesters to treat the side effects of their pregnancy.
Commonly seen side effects in these trimesters are morning sickness (nausea and/or vomiting),
heartburn, bowel issues, hemorrhoids, acute and/or chronic low backache, sciatica, and
symphysis pubis pain.
During the third trimester, I use acupuncture to begin gently promote labor. The purpose of this
treatment protocol is to naturally and supportively induce and increase contractions, reduce
stress and anxiety levels, and to support the body’s energy. Acupuncture for labor induction is
appropriate for women having a healthy and normal pregnancy after 36 weeks and especially if
this is their first pregnancy. Beginning at week 36 the pregnant woman comes in once per week
for acupuncture. By week 38, she comes in twice per week, which continues through weeks 39
and 40. My patients have reported feeling great relief after receiving acupuncture at this phase
of their pregnancy, not only to help support contractions but also to relieve anxiety and stress
associated with childbirth.
After childbirth, it is important for the mother to supplement her depleted qi (vital life-force
energy). At this stage I recommend a blood-and-qi-building stew recipe with Chinese herbs, as
well as continued acupuncture treatments. I have treated numerous women who were
experiencing post-partum depression. By coming in just once per week for several sessions,
these patients were able to rebuild their depleted energy and resolve their depression.
If you are interested in acupuncture and Chinese herbs for the treatment of pregnancy’s effects
or for post-partum support, please get in touch with me at Alliance Healing Arts via (206) 632-
Inger Johnson, L.Ac., EAMP
Alliance Healing Arts