Pregnancy Acupuncture

Pregnancy Acupuncture with Clare Foley

Acupuncture has become a hugely popular therapy to support pregnancy, labour and postpartum health in recent years. Every woman wants her pregnancy to go smoothly and acupuncture is a great way to regulate and optimize our natural cycles. Whether you-and-bump are aching for a good night’s sleep or you’re preparing for the big day, booking in some acupuncture sessions will bring calm, energy and help with the following issues:


Low back pain is the most common use of acupuncture during pregnancy along with other pain conditions where painkillers need to be avoided such as headaches and migraine. In my experience, morning sickness can be relieved from the first treatment but can take around 5 treatments to stop it completely if it is severe. A point on the wrist known to treat nausea is stimulated using an acupuncture needle. This strengthens the nerve signalling through the stomach to encourage normal descending of digestive activity.

Acupuncture is used for cervical ripening. Studies have shown acupuncture shortens the length of the cervix, dilates and softens it making it more favourable for labour. It can reduce the time between the due date and delivery. Acupuncture treatment brings on a state of relaxation and peace. This is how we feel when the parasympathetic nervous system is activated. It is known that an active “rest-and-digest” state positively affects the uterus close to term. Another plus is that women usually get a great night’s sleep after their treatment, setting them up for the process ahead. Cervical ripening treatments can commence at 37-38 weeks.

Acupuncture can induce labour if the pregnancy is overdue. Studies show the area in the brain where oxytocin is released becomes active during acupuncture stimulation. That’s the same compound used in medicine to induce labour. Usually, the treatment will take effect over a couple of days and a client may decide come to me two or three days in a row. However, it has happened a number of times in my clinic that a client felt contractions within one minute of needle insertion so I advise my clients to be accompanied to treatment in case of rapid results!

Another common use of acupuncture in pregnancy is in turning breech babies. Every acupuncture point has a name in Chinese that refers to either the location of the point on the body or else the function of the point. There is a point on the foot named “capsize” after it’s a long-tested function in returning a baby in breech to the correct position. Modern research has shown treatment using this point can turn a baby in breech with a success rate of 80%.

From swollen ankles and anxiety to more serious complications, acupuncture has a wide range of treatment effects. Feel free to inquire about my experience in treating your specific complaint. We are all very individual. Often we need time with a healthcare practitioner, in addition to conventional care, to breakdown our unique health picture.


ClareClare Foley is a highly experienced acupuncturist and naturopathic health counsellor at The elbowroom Clinic & Holistic Centre. After studying naturopathic medicine in Dublin, she spent seven months training in integrative medicine hospitals in Beijing, training under expert doctors in a variety of medical departments. She went on to study science to Masters level biophysics with research in global brain dynamics.

Clare is a board member of the Acupuncture Council of Ireland. Clients may claim treatments from their health insurance providers. Clare helps her clients discover the causes and triggers of disease for each individual. She advises on how to get back to a state of health and balance using practical diet and lifestyle changes. As well as the acupuncture treatment, clients are given useful information on how to manage and control their condition themselves.

To learn more about acupuncture or The elbowroom clinic click here.
To book an appointment with any of our therapists please call 01 677 9859 or email

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