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Hand on pregnant belly


Pregnancy is a miraculous process with lots of change happening.

For some, pregnancy is the most beautiful time of their lives, others, it is more of a struggle.  No matter how you are fairing during this time we are here to support you.  Check out the list of ailments we can assist with and the resources attached.

At Waitākere Health Hub we have the services to aid your pregnancy.  Between acupuncture, osteopathy and massage we have the facilities to offer pregnant women drug free support to a myriad of complaints that occur during a normal pregnancy.


Osteopathy can support the aches and pains that we get from living our modern lives, sitting too much, working too hard and not giving ourselves enough time.  Any already established imbalance can be amplified once you are pregnant and those bad postural habits and overuse aches and pains are enhanced with the hormone relaxin working on releasing everything for the growth of your baby.  The shape of your hips and pelvis alignment does not only affect pain but can affect position of your baby and ease of the process of your child through the birth canal.

Our pregnancy massage is also a wonderful way to relax, increase blood flow, and reduce any aches and pains you may be getting.  Also a great time to pamper yourself before you start giving everything to your family.

If you haven't tried it before acupuncture is a noninvasive treatment; using hair thin sterile single use needles to stimulate certain points and create a positive reaction.  I have found that the increased blood flow of pregnancy enhances the effects of acupuncture with fewer needles and less treatments required.


I have found that acupuncture has been very beneficial in helping treat the following conditions that can occur during a normal pregnancy;


  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Heartburn

  • Constipation

  • Varicose veins

  • Haemorrhoids

  • Chronic UTI’s

  • Sinusitis

  • Odema

  • Pregnancy induced hypertension

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Fatigue and exhaustion

  • Anemia


Acupuncture is a great support during the first trimester, especially for women who suffer from recurrent miscarriages.  It is recognised that 50% of early miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities(1).  The remaining 50% can be positively affected by acupuncture.  Progesterone supports the fetus until 12 weeks when the placenta is fully-grown and takes over.  Stress negatively affects progesterone with the increase of cortisol in the body.  The treatment protocol for supporting early pregnancy is to reduce stress, calm the mind, balance the hormones and treat any underlying disharmony.(2)  Treatment is usually continued on a weekly basis for the first trimester, this gives a chance to also support any nausea and fatigue.


Acupuncture for pre-birth treatment is a regular protocol I recommend to all of my pregnant patients.  A group of midwives in Wellington noticed that women receiving pre-birth acupuncture consistently had more efficient labours, a reduction in length of labour and medical interventions.  They did a naturalistic observation study of 169 women who received treatment over a 4-month period.  The main outcome measures recorded were gestation of women at onset of labour, and interventions of inductions, epidurals and caesarean sections.  When compared to local regional rate there was a 35% reduction in the number of inductions, the reduction was 43% for first time mothers, a 31% reduction in epidurals, a 32% reduction in emergency C sections and a 9% increase in normal vaginal births.(2,3)  Another study used the outcome measure of duration of labour for first time mothers and the mean duration of labour was reduced from 8hrs 2 mins in control group (70n) to 6hrs 36mins in the group receiving pre birth acupuncture(2).  Labour is always an unknown, especially for first time mothers but routine acupuncture from 36 weeks is a great support and is conducive to a more efficient labour. 


Check out the handout below put together by Dr Debra Betts about acupressure during labour.



Acupuncture for breech babies is a take home treatment.  In general a consultation is given to check the general health of the patient and any possibly underlying conditions that need to be treated, as well to check for any possible red-flags.  During this treatment the client is given a moxabustion stick to take home and burn over BL-67 Zhiyin, this is demonstrated in clinic.  The treatment cycle is 3 times per day for 10 days.  If baby turns it is important to keep doing the treatment protocol for the 10 days to prevent them reverting back into a malposition.  I also recommend looking at to add to your treatment protocol and regular osteopathic treatment. Women mention during the moxa treatment that their babies are very active and they can feel them trying to turn.  If baby does not turn during this period we do a 4 day wash out period and start the treatment protocol again.  This treatment also aids with external cephalic version (ECV) if required.(4)


If you are having a difficult time with your pregnancy or looking for healthy adjunct therapies contact us.

Resources for new mums


1. Goddijn M, Leschot N. Genetic aspects of miscarriage. Bailliere’s Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2000;14:855–65.

2.  D Betts. The use of acupuncture as a routine pre birth treatment. Journal of Chinese medicine. 2004;76

3. Betts D, Lennox S. Acupuncture for prebirth treatment: An observational study of its use in midwifery practice. Medical acupuncture. 2006;17(3):16-19

4. Van den Berg I, Kaandorp G, Bosch J, Duvekot J, Arends L, Hununk M. Cost-effectiveness of breech version by acupuncture-type interventions on BL 67, including moxibustion, for women with a breech foetus at 33 weeks gestation: a modelling approach. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2010;18, 67—77.

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