Acupuncture for Pregnancy Symptoms & Postnatal Depression

Acupuncture for Pregnancy Symptoms & Postnatal Depression.

Pregnancy is a time of significant and rapid changes for a woman's body. Common symptoms include nausea and vomiting (morning sickness), fatigue, body pains and aches, swollen feet and ankles, constipation and haemorrhoids.

The chance of miscarriage is highest in the first trimester (12 weeks) of pregnancy and symptoms of threatened miscarriage including abdominal cramps and vaginal bleeding must be investigated promptly.

Diagnosing and managing symptoms of perinatal anxiety and depression during pregnancy is also important, as it can be a serious illness that affects up to one in five expecting or new mothers.

What Does The Research Say?

The following insights are obtained from systematic reviews and analysis of clinical trials investigating the efficacy of acupuncture for pregnancy symptoms & postnatal depression.

Consult with our practitioners for personalised care and advice.

Although well-conducted clinical research can help members of the public to make better-informed decisions about their healthcare, we do not make any claims that any particular treatment may be efficacious for any individual person.

When you consult with our Chinese medicine practitioners, you'll receive personalised advice and treatment based on your symptoms and Chinese medicine diagnosis.

Scientific References

Browse our collection of scientific clinical research on acupuncture for pregnancy symptoms & postnatal depression.

It includes recent and reputable papers published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years.



Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

2021, Jul 28

Effectiveness of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Hyperemesis Gravidarum: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Our study suggested that acupuncture was effective in treating HG. However, as the potential inferior quality and underlying publication bias were found in the included studies, there is a need for more superior-quality RCTs to examine their effectiveness and safety.

Haizhen Lu, Chengwen Zheng, Yanmei Zhong, Linhao Cheng, Yi Zhou Full Article

Healthcare

2021, May 22

Correction of Breech Presentation with Moxibustion and Acupuncture: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Healthcare

Our findings suggest that moxibustion therapy has positive effects on correcting breech presentation, especially in the Asian population.

Liao J-A, Shao S-C, Chang C-T, Chai PY-C, Owang K-L, Huang T-H, Yang C-H, Lee T-J, Chen Y-C Full Article

Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing

2020, Jul 25

Effects of self-acupressure on pregnancy-related constipation: A single-blind randomized controlled study
Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing

This study's evidence indicates that self-administered acupressure can effectively alleviate the symptoms of constipation in clinical practice during pregnancy.

Ayça Şolt Kirca,Derya Kanza Gül Full Article

Nature and Science of Sleep

2020, May 13

Effect of Acupuncture on Pregnancy-Related Insomnia and Melatonin: A Single-Blinded, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial
Nature and Science of Sleep

Acupuncture was shown to significantly improve the sleep quality in pregnant women, possibly through increasing melatonin secretion, and could be recommended as a low-cost and low-risk alternative treatment to pharmacological therapies.

Foroughinia S, Hessami K, Asadi N, Foroughinia L, Hadianfard M, Hajihosseini A, Pirasteh N, Vossoughi M, Vafaei H, Faraji A, Kasraeian M, Doroudchi M, Rafiee Monjezi M, Roozmeh S, Bazrafshan K. Full Article

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

2020, Feb 7

Acupuncture or acupressure for pain management during labour
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Cochrane

This article highlighted that acupuncture in comparison to sham acupuncture can reduce pain management and lessen the likelihood of pharmacological analgesia.

Caroline A Smith,Carmel T Collins,Kate M Levett,Mike Armour,Hannah G Dahlen,Aidan L Tan,Bita Mesgarpour Full Article

Journal of the Chinese Medical Association

2019, Sep

Traditional Chinese acupuncture and postpartum depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Journal of the Chinese Medical Association Chinese Medical Association, Taipei

Patients in the acupuncture group had significantly better performances assessed by the Hamilton Depression Scale than those in the control group. In addition, significantly better performance in the effective rate was observed in the acupuncture group than in the control group. Traditional Chinese acupuncture seems to be effective in improving some symptoms of PPD.

Tong, Ping; Dong, Li-Ping; Yang, Yang; Shi, Yuan-Hong; Sun, Ting; Bo, Ping Full Article

BioMed Research International

2019, Mar 20

Effectiveness of Acupuncture Used for the Management of Postpartum Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
BioMed Research International

Our meta-analysis suggested that acupuncture treatment may reduce HAMD scores, while no significant effects on EPDS, clinical response, and serum estradiol levels were observed.

Wei Li, Ping Yin, Lixing Lao, Shifen Xu Full Article

Acupuncture in Medicine

2018, Dec 12

Acupuncture at BL67 for Mild Postpartum Depression: A Prospective Case Series
Acupuncture in Medicine British Medical Acupuncture Society

This study highlighted that back acupuncture points help with mild postpartum depression with patients scoring less after treatments.

Chen Bin Tian Full Article

Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice

2018, Nov

A systematic review of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for postpartum depression
Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice

Low quality evidence suggested that CHM alone or combined with antidepressants as add-on therapy may reduce symptoms of depression compared to placebo or antidepressants on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). There was no statistically significant difference between acupuncture and antidepressants. Adverse events were rare. CHM reduced PPD symptoms greater than placebo or antidepressants. Acupuncture was neither superior nor inferior to antidepressants.

Lingling Yang, Yuan M. Di, Johannah L. Shergis, Yan Li, Anthony L. Zhang, Chuanjian Lu, Xinfeng Guo, Charlie C. Xue Full Article

British Journal of Midwifery

2018, Oct 3

Acupuncture versus antidepressants in the management of postpartum depression: A systematic review
British Journal of Midwifery

Acupuncture in postpartum depression was at least as effective as fluoxetine hydrochloride, supporting the notion that acupuncture may be a safe and effective option.

Akari Komori, David Arthur, Samara Radford, Hsiewe Ying Tan, Li Zheng, Mira An, Rika Umeda, and Zhen Zheng Full Article

Acupuncture in Medicine

2018, Oct 1

Effectiveness of Acupuncture in Postpartum Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Acupuncture in Medicine British Medical Acupuncture Society

The result of this meta-analysis demonstrated that the acupuncture group had a significantly greater overall effective rate compared with the control group. Moreover, acupuncture significantly increased oestradiol levels compared with the control group. Acupuncture appears to be effective for postpartum depression with respect to certain outcomes.

Li S, Zhong W, Peng W, Jiang G. Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

2018, May

Acupuncture Compared with Intramuscular Injection of Neostigmine for Postpartum Urinary Retention: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

This study showcased that acupuncture alone is more effective in treating postpartum urinary retention than intramuscular injection of neostigmine.

Xiao-Mei Wang, Jing Gong, Si-Cong Li, and Mei Han Full Article

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

2016, Oct 17

Does acupuncture have a role in the treatment of threatened miscarriage? Findings from a feasibility randomised trial and semi-structured participant interviews
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Forty women were successfully randomised. For women receiving acupuncture there was a statically significant reduction with threatened miscarriage symptoms including bleeding, cramping and back pain compared with the control. Acupuncture was a feasible intervention and reduced threatened miscarriage symptoms when compared to a touch intervention. Further research is required to further explore acupuncture use for this common complication and whether it can reduce the incidence of miscarriage.

Betts D, Smith CA, Dahlen HG. Full Article

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

2015, Sep 30

Interventions for preventing and treating low‐back and pelvic pain during pregnancy
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Cochrane

There is low‐quality evidence that exercise (any exercise on land or in water), may reduce pregnancy‐related low‐back pain and moderate‐ to low‐quality evidence suggesting that any exercise improves functional disability and reduces sick leave more than usual prenatal care. Evidence from single studies suggests that acupuncture or craniosacral therapy improves pregnancy‐related pelvic pain, and osteomanipulative therapy or a multi‐modal intervention (manual therapy, exercise and education) may also be of benefit. Clinical heterogeneity precluded pooling of results in many cases. Statistical heterogeneity was substantial in all but three meta‐analyses, which did not improve following sensitivity analyses. Publication bias and selective reporting cannot be ruled out. Further evidence is very likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimates of effect and change the estimates. Studies would benefit from the introduction of an agreed classification system that can be used to categorise women according to their presenting symptoms, so that treatment can be tailored accordingly.

Sarah D Liddle, Victoria Pennick Full Article

Acupuncture in Medicine

2014, Jun 1

The Safety of Acupuncture during Pregnancy: A Systematic Review
Acupuncture in Medicine British Medical Acupuncture Society

Acupuncture during pregnancy appears to be associated with few adverse events when correctly applied.

Park J, Sohn Y, White AR, Lee H. Full Article

Journal of Advanced Nursing

2014, Mar 9

A systematic review investigating the effectiveness of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for the management of low back and/or pelvic pain (LBPP) in pregnancy
Journal of Advanced Nursing

Amongst Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), acupuncture showed both clinically important changes and statistically significant results for management of low back and/or pelvic pain (LBPP) in pregnancy.

Close C, Sinclair M, Liddle SD, Madden E, McCullough JE, Hughes C. Full Article

Medical Acupuncture

2013, Dec

Efficacy and Safety of Needle Acupuncture for Treating Gynecologic and Obstetric Disorders: An Overview
Medical Acupuncture American Academy of Medical Acupuncture

Evidence for the efficacy of needle acupuncture for treating the disorders showed promising results for reducing pelvic and back pain during pregnancy and climacteric vasomotor symptoms.

Selva Olid A, Martinez Zapata MJ, Sola I, Stojanovic Z, Uriona Tuma SM, Bonfill Cosp X. Full Article

Medical Acupuncture

2013, Jan

Acupuncture for Treating Anxiety and Depression in Women: A Clinical Systematic Review
Medical Acupuncture American Academy of Medical Acupuncture

With respect to six reviewed studies, there is high-level evidence to support the use of acupuncture for treating major depressive disorder in pregnancy.

Sniezek DP, Siddiqui IJ. Full Article

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies

2012, Mar 22

Acupuncture as a therapeutic treatment option for threatened miscarriage
BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies

While it is known that 50-70% of miscarriages occur due to chromosomal abnormalities, the potential for therapeutic intervention amongst the remaining percentage of women remains unknown. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies have the potential to provide supportive care for women presenting with threatened miscarriage. Within fertility research, acupuncture demonstrates beneficial hormonal responses with decreased miscarriage rates, raising the possibility acupuncture may promote specific beneficial effects in early pregnancy. With the lack of current medical options for women presenting with threatened miscarriage it is timely to examine the possible treatment benefits of providing CAM therapies such as acupuncture.

Betts D, Smith CA, Hannah DG. Full Article

Obstetrics & Gynecology

2010, Jan

Acupuncture for Depression during Pregnancy: a Randomized Controlled Trial
Obstetrics & Gynecology American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The short acupuncture protocol demonstrated symptom reduction and a response rate comparable to those observed in standard depression treatments of similar length and could be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy.

Manber R, Schnyer RN, Lyell D, Chambers AS, Caughey AB, Druzin M, Carlyle E, Celio C, Gress JL, Huang MI, Kalista T, Martin-Okada R, Allen JJ. Full Article


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