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Acupuncture for Prenatal Care

Congratulations, you're expecting! Pregnancy is usually a happy time, but it is not without its stresses and challenges, both physical and emotional. Even as you celebrate the little one who will soon be joining your life, you may be feeling perpetually queasy and exhausted. Like many mothers-to-be, you may have some anxiety about the health of the baby or maintaining a healthy pregnancy, particularly if you have had fertility issues in the past. Later in pregnancy, you may experience discomforts like heartburn, muscle and joint aches and pains, or swollen hands and feet.

Fortunately, acupuncture is a wonderfully safe and natural way to effectively treat these common complaints of pregnancy. In addition, if you have a chronic condition and have had to stop taking your usual medication during your pregnancy, acupuncture may serve as a drug-free alternative for managing your symptoms.

Acupuncture is also a fantastic way to maintain good health during pregnancy, prevent complications, reduce stress, support the well-being of mother and baby, and prepare for a smooth and efficient labor and delivery. Over the years, I have used acupuncture to help many pregnant women stay healthy, feel well, deal with complications, and prepare for labor. In addition, there are some special cases (detailed below) in which acupuncture has proven to be an especially powerful yet gentle treatment.

Turning Breech Babies

In many cases, the use of acupuncture and moxibustion at specific points can cause a breech baby to move into a head-down position. Whenever possible, it is best to schedule your treatment prior to reaching 37 weeks, when the baby is still small enough to move and turn easily. When addressing this condition, I first give the mother an acupuncture treatment that helps correct whatever imbalances may have contributed to the breech positioning in the first place. I then use the moxibustion protocol for turning breech babies. Finally, I teach the mother how to continue the moxibustion treatment at home, which improves outcomes significantly, and provide her with the necessary supplies.

Preparation for Labor

In the last weeks of pregnancy, acupuncture can help your body prepare for a smooth, efficient labor and may even shorten the time you labor. Upon request, I also teach women and their birth partners about acupressure techniques they can use to provide natural pain relief and keep the labor and delivery process moving smoothly.

Encouraging the Start of Labor

If you have passed your due date, or if your doctors are planning a medical induction prior to your due date, acupuncture can help to encourage the start of labor in a more natural way that works with your body to get things moving. How soon labor begins and how many acupuncture treatments are needed depends on how far your body has progressed toward labor already. If there is little dilation and effacement of the cervix, it may take two or three treatments for labor to begin in earnest. If your body is already showing signs of preparation for labor, only one treatment may be necessary. That being said, results can vary widely. I have treated women with minimal dilation and effacement who delivered the day after their first labor induction acupuncture session.

Prenatal Care - Nurturing Spirit Acupuncture in Washington, DC, Dupont Circle 

Kate Quinn Stewart offers Acupuncture in Washington, DC, Dupont Circle

during pregnancy, acupuncture can help:

  • Support the health of mother and baby
  • Alleviate morning sickness
  • Improve energy levels
  • Relieve headaches
  • Lower stress, calm anxiety, and promote relaxation
  • Reduce the risk of miscarriage
  • Treat spotting and bleeding
  • Ease aches and pains
  • Help turn breech babies
  • Reduce swelling in hands and feet
  • Prepare the body for efficient labor
  • Promote the onset of labor when a woman is past her due date or hopes to avoid medical induction
  • Speed postpartum recovery
  • Support production of breastmilk

During labor and delivery, acupressure can relieve pain and help keep labor progressing smoothly.

I love helping moms and their birth partners prepare for labor and learn to use acupressure for natural pain relief. I offer personal instruction and training in these acupressure techniques to pregnant mothers and those who will be supporting them during labor. The moms appreciate the pain relief and the partners are happy to be able to actively assist in the birth process. Please ask me about this service.


1633 Q
1633 Q St. NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20009
Dupont Circle Metro, Q St. exit

Office Visits:
Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays
1:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Virtual Sessions:
12:30 pm - 6:30 pm