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Can acupuncture relieve common pregnancy complaints?
Q: Can acupuncture be helpful during pregnancy?
A: Acupuncture is used throughout the world for a variety of medical conditions, and may be useful in pregnancy for the following conditions: nausea, morning sickness, headaches, low back pain, edema and turning a baby from the breech (buttocks first) to the vertex (head first) position. Only a licensed acupuncturist experienced in issues pertaining to pregnancy and childbirth should perform acupuncture.

You can also be taught to place pressure on acupuncture points (called “acupressure”) as a way to treat certain conditions, such as morning sickness or heartburn, on your own. One such point is the Pericardium-6 point on your inner wrist. This is located three finger-widths below the crease on your inner wrist, in the middle of your forearm. Use your thumb to press down firmly in a circular motion 20 to 30 times. Aquatic stores sell special bracelets that put pressure on the same point to reduce nausea associated with sailing, and some women find these helpful in reducing morning sickness.

Laura E. Stachel M.D. Obstetrician & Gynecologist