Acupuncture in Nanaimo, BC

(250) 667-8242


​​​​​Harbour City Healers

 Pregnancy & Childbirth

 Acupuncture during pregnancy and childbirth offers women a safe, drug free alternative to managing their health and well-being. It is effective in reducing the frequency and severity of common pregnancy symptoms. It can help relieve pregnancy pain such as sciatica, lower back, pelvic and rib pain, in addition to morning sickness and headaches. Acupuncture can help the body prepare for childbirth, easing and shortening the labour process and reducing the use and need for medical interventions.

During pregnancy, acupuncture has been shown to effectively treat the following conditions:

  • Miscarriage prevention
  • Morning sickness (nausea & vomiting)
  • Fatigue & exhaustion
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Pain
  • Anemia
  • Insomnia
  • Sinusitis
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension 
  • Edema (fluid retention)
  • Vaginal itching
  • Breech & posterior positions
  • Cervical ripening
  • Induction


Pregnancy Pain

One of the oldest applications of acupuncture is to effectively control and ease pain. Acupuncture improves circulation, thus reducing swelling and inflammation of the area of discomfort. Acupuncture is safe, gentle, and effective for treating: 

  • Rib pain
  • Pubic symphysis pain
  • Neck and upper back pain
  • Lower back pain and sciatica
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Leg cramps

Pregnancy - 1st Trimester

Acupuncture can provide relief for some of the most common complaints in early pregnancy, such as morning sickness, headaches and exhaustion. In addition, acupuncture can reduce the chances of miscarriage, which is at highest risk during the first trimester. ​Women can receive weekly acupuncture treatments to increase blood flow to the uterus, promote and regulate hormonal balance to aid a healthy pregnancy.

Pregnancy - 2nd Trimester

During the second trimester, women experience a lot of changes in their body due to the growth of the baby. This can lead to back pain and the misalignment of posture. Acupuncture treatments can reduce or correct these conditions, and can also give relief from heartburn, hemorrhoids, anxiety and depression. Women can receive weekly or one to two treatments a month to maintain a healthy pregnancy balance and treat and prevent the common symptoms that develop.

Pregnancy - 3rd Trimester

Acupuncture helps ease many of the discomforts of the 3rd trimester, such as back pain, sciatica, swelling, constipation, heartburn and insomnia. Acupuncture treatments can also gently prepare the body for labour by ripening the cervix and by teaching your body how to promote efficient contractions. Patients who get acupuncture throughout their pregnancy, especially the third trimester, report faster and less complicated deliveries.

Pregnancy - Pre-Birth - End Stage

Breech Presentation

A breech birth is complicated and painful for both the mother and baby. Instead of taking the wait-and-see approach, with acupuncture you can be proactive. Acupuncture and moxibustion have been used for thousands of years to turn breeched babies, with a very high success rate. The treatments are both safe to the mother and child. If your baby has not yet turned head down by 33 weeks, it is recommended to try acupuncture and moxibustion. 


Acupuncture for breech is ideally performed at week 34 for the highest success rates. During your acupuncture appointment, you are taught how to self-administer daily moxibustion at home. These treatments change the mother's hormonal levels which cause the baby to increase its movements and rotate accordingly.

Cervical Ripening

As the end of pregnancy nears, your cervix normally becomes soft (ripe) and beings to open (dilate) and thin (efface), preparing for the birth. Your baby also starts to move further into the pelvis and into position. The better the baby's position and the more effaced your cervix is when you go into labour, the faster and easier your labour tends to be. A ripe cervix facilitates a better birth, reduces your need for pain medication and lowers your risk of needing a caesarean section. 


Cervical ripening treatments ideally start at 35-37 weeks and continue weekly until the birth. The focus is primarily on ripening the cervix and preparing the body for the labour, but each treatment also focuses on other aspects of preparing for your birth. 

Acupuncture for Inducing Labour

Acupuncture can be very effective for women past their due dates or those with a planned medical induction. Acupuncture has been shown to be a safe, non-invasive and drug free method in preparing the body for labour as well as inducing labour.

It is best to get an acupuncture treatment daily for three consecutive days prior to a planned medical induction, or at least one treatment if an induction is urgently required, to induce labour. ​Post-treatment, Sheena teaches self-administered acupressure to further enhance the results of the treatment.

Research shows that acupuncture treatments followed by acupressure is the most practical and effective method of inducing labour. Even if labour does not commence spontaneously after receiving induction acupuncture, (most women experience contractions during or within 48 hours after treatment) research shows you will still have a more efficient labour compared to women who do not receive acupuncture treatments. Being able to induce women with acupuncture reduces intervention rates such as the use of syntocinon, epidurals or caesarean sections. 

When asked to Induce Labour before Due Date

If there is no medical reason to promote an induction, I offer pre-birth acupuncture, a treatment aimed at preparing a woman's body to labour as efficiently as possible and relieve problems occurring in the pregnancy, rather than offering an induction treatment. 

Postnatal Care

During this time, acupuncture is very helpful in restoring energy and promoting a quicker recovery after delivery. It promotes the uterus to return to the pre-pregnant state faster to prepare for future children. A quick recovery by the mother means the best care for her new baby! Acupuncture is effective at treating:

  • Blood loss
  • Fatigue
  • Lactation problems
  • Low milk supply
  • Mastitis
  • Reduction of scars from a C-Sectiong
  • Post-partum depression
  • Anxiety
  • Afterpains​ 

Harbour City Healers
Registered Acupuncture
Sheena Villeneuve R.Ac. : 250-667-8242