Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Fatigue

Increasing Energy and Restoring Vitality to Expectant Mothers

By Paul J.O'Brien
B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Cert Clin. Med. M.AFPA, M.ETCMA, M.C.Th.A.

Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Fatigue is a popular and common treatment in my clinic. Fatigue and exhaustion are a real feature of pregnancy and often not given due weight as a symptom. It most often occurs in the first trimester (first 12 weeks of pregnancy). This is mostly due to the formation of the placenta and the necessary chemical hormonal changes of the body as a result of pregnancy.

This fatigue often returns in the last trimester, but is linked to more obvious symptoms, generally the additional 10-14 kilo’s that have been added to the mothers body. This isn’t just the baby weight, so don’t panic. ;-) It’s a mix of the baby which normally weighs around 3kg – 3.5kg, the placenta which should be around the 6-10 kg mark and finally the associated amniotic fluid, additional breast tissue, necessary maternal fat etc).

All of this places considerable strain on a woman’s body – if you doubt that fill up a school bag with a load of weights or rocks with nearly 2 stone of extra weight and strap it to your abdomen – spend a day like that and you’ll be exhausted and most likely have some muscular pain (you can read about that here). It’s easy to see why then many women attend my clinic for Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Fatigue treatments.

This fatigue is also made worse by the lack of sleep many women experience having to go to the bathroom frequently during the night due the developing baby pressing on the bladder. There is also the natural discomfort of trying to sleep and waking to find a comfortable position, so many pregnant women are sleep deprived. Finally if the baby hasn’t engaged in the final weeks, the uterus will press upwards into the lungs restricting breathing and leave the expectant mother breathless.

From a western medical perspective this fatigue and exhaustion is often linked to pregnancy induced anemia, a condition which can lead to additional symptoms of fainting, pallor, breathlessness and palpitations which all indicate a low hemoglobin level. Blood tests are usually run to confirm this and if appropriate iron may be prescribed. Of course Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Fatigue is an equally effective treatment that does not require chemical intervention.

With that said, in traditional Chinese Medicine fatigue and exhaustion can have a wide and varied range of causes and it’s important to distinguish between fatigue and exhaustion. Patterns such as diminished Blood or a weakness of the lungs can be common. However it’s important to understand such things in context.

Many women presenting in my clinic maintain very active and stressful lifestyles during pregnancy, running a household, full time work and other personal commitments, rushed less than ideal meals on top of the biological changes occurring in pregnancy will naturally leave one exhausted and it’s important to look at how lifestyle can be changed and improved during pregnancy. A little more rest and better nutritional choices can have a profound effect on energy levels and recommendations to that effect are an important part of Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Fatigue treatments.
On the other hand I would also see many women that despite extremely healthy lifestyles cannot cope and keep up with the natural biological changes of pregnancy. Such women often present with a deeper underlying pathology and require a great deal of care.

Rest and recovery are vital, but again it’s important to distinguish the nature of those restful activities, some such as swimming may be beneficial to some, to increases blood flow and circulation whereas for others the chill of a pool, even heated, may cause a disruption of energy in the Kidney’s causing them to become sluggish and tired.

I highly recommend taking a nap between the hours of 1pm and 3pm if possible, it is during this time that the Liver, (which relates to Blood) is weakest according to the Chinese medical clock, and as such needs rest to conserve energy and blood.

Diet is also a vital component of Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Fatigue treatments. Again depending on the nature of the condition women may need to avoid a cold diet, containing things such as orange juice, salads or raw foods, this can overly chill the body making it slow and fatigued. A simple solution is to include warm foods in the diet such as cooking vegetables with rosemary, or a personal favorite, apple stew with cinnamon and cloves.

Occasionally some women are over stimulated leading to exhaustion and in these cases it is helpful to reduce and remove any excessive stimulants during Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Fatigue treatment. Quick sugar filled snacks, coffee an chocolate should probably be knocked on the head or at least reduced. A nice fruit smoothie can be a quick and calming substitute, or if you have the time a cheese omelet would be ideal.

Finally those tending towards the more anemic symptoms (click here to read my article of pregnancy induced anemia), will obviously need to increase iron rich foods – this does not necessarily mean increasing red meat, as there are a variety of foods rich in iron that suit all palettes. Vegetables such as beetroot, avocado, kidney beans and so forth will all support iron levels. A few grapes or dried apricots would also be helpful at the end of a meal.

Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Fatigue treatment would provide a substantial and positive increase in energy levels for all expectant mothers. There is a long history in relieving and resolving fatigue and exhaustion by gentle restoring the proper flow of Qi and Blood and returning you to state of balance and harmony without the need for medication.

If you are pregnant and are suffering from fatigue or exhaustion I strongly encourage you to undergo Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Fatigue treatment to resolve these poor energy levels and achieve a vibrant pregnancy and quality of life.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Fatigue treatment protocols that I provide or wish to start a course of treatment then please feel free to contact me or make an appointment where we can discuss any specific concerns or questions you may have.


Ready to get started? Great. Call my clinic at 087 901 9627 so we can discuss your needs and set up the first appointment.


You have been reading about Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Fatigue. It may interest you to read about Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Anemia Here.

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