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. The average length of pregnancy (gestation) is counted as 40 weeks, starting from the first day of the mother's last menstrual period.

The chance of miscarriage is highest in the first trimester (12 weeks) of pregnancy and any 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 Chinese medicine and 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 cannot claim that any particular treatment may be effective 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.



Frontiers in Public Health

2022, Sep 09

Effects of acupuncture on the pregnancy outcomes of frozen-thawed embryo transfer: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Frontiers in Public Health

Acupuncture could be instrumental in the pregnancy outcomes of FET, and has very few risks of severe adverse events; however, the quality of evidence is unsatisfactory. Further research with rigorous methodological quality should be considered, and the protocols of acupuncture also need more investigations

Zhu C, Xia W, Huang J, Zhang X, Li F, Yu X, Ma J, Zeng Q Full Article

Frontiers in Endocrinology

2022, Aug 29

Acupuncture combined with metformin versus metformin alone to improve pregnancy rate in polycystic ovary syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Frontiers in Endocrinology

Based on the results of this study, compared with metformin alone, acupuncture combined with metformin has a positive effect on pregnancy rate, ovulation rate, and insulin resistance in PCOS. However, due to the limitations regarding the number and quality of the included studies, the above conclusions need to be verified by further high-quality studies.

Chen X, Lan Y, Yang L, Liu Y, Li H, Zhu X, Zhao Y, Long C, Wang M, Xie Q, Li Z, Wu J Full Article

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

World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion

2021, Jan

Meta analysis on acupuncture for postpartum depression
World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies

Acupuncture treatment for postpartum depression is effective compared with western medication. However, more high-quality clinical randomized controlled trials larger sample sizes are still needed to verify the result.

WANG, J., TAN, L., MEI, Q., ZHENG, Q., YANG, S., & MEI, Z. Full Article

Current Reviews in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology

2021, Nov

Effect of Chamomile Oil on Cesarean Section Pain in Primiparous Women: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Current Reviews in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology

Inhalation of chamomile oil significantly reduced pain intensity and the need for analgesics in primiparous women after cesarean section.

Zardosht R, Basiri A, Sahebkar A, Emami SA Full Article

BioMed Research International

2020, Dec 8

Miscarriage on Endometriosis and Adenomyosis in Women by Assisted Reproductive Technology or with Spontaneous Conception: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
BioMed Research International

Women with endometriosis had an augmented miscarriage risk in SC and a similar miscarriage risk during ART. Adenomyosis was associated with miscarriage in pregnant women using ART.

Yangxue Huang, Xianhong Zhao, Yiyuan Chen, Jie Wang, Weilin Zheng, Lixing Cao 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.

Li W, Yin P, Lao L, Xu S 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

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

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

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies

2016, Jan 13

Effect of acustimulation on nausea and vomiting and on hyperemesis in pregnancy: a systematic review of Western and Chinese literature
BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies

Although there is some evidence for an effect of acustimulation on nausea and vomiting or hyperemesis in pregnancy, results are not conclusive. Future clinical trials with a rigorous design and large sample sizes should be conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of these interventions for NVP and HG.

Van den Heuvel, E., Goossens, M., Vanderhaegen, H. et al. 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

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

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


Yin Tang
“It is by virtue of the twelve channels that human life exists, that disease arises, that human beings can be treated and illness cured. The twelve channels are where beginners start and masters end.” The Classic of Acupuncture
Circa 1st Century BCE