The current use of acupuncture during pregnancy and childbirth.

Author: Xu J, Mackenzie IZ.
Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Conference/Journal: Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol.
Date published: 2012 Jan 13
Other: Word Count: 162

Acupuncture has a growing clientele during pregnancy, delivery and the puerperium for an ever increasing list of indications. Objective evidence for its benefit is necessary to establish its roles in current practice.
For many of the current uses, randomized studies when conducted using at least one control group have not established any clear advantages from treatment. Those areas which rely upon subjective assessment of symptoms are particularly difficult to investigate without rigorous blinding strategies, separating those who provide the acupuncture from those assessing outcome. Studies investigating the possible therapeutic benefit of acupuncture for managing intrapartum care require outcomes for nulliparae and multiparae to be analysed separately.
Acupuncture therapy may offer some advantage over conventional treatment in the management of hyperemesis gravidarum and postcaesarean section pain and these areas warrant further study. Rigorous randomized studies, particularly those using objective measures, have failed to identify any obvious benefits from acupuncture for many of the other conditions studied.
PMID: 22249144