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Acupuncture for Recovery after C section : Recovery after C section


No matter how much effort goes into a birthing plan, there is always the possibility of needing a caesarean section (c-section). In the United Kingdom, about 25% of pregnant women deliver via c-section. Recovery after c-section is made even more difficult as there is also a newborn baby who needs care while the new mother is trying to rest and recover. Whether a c-section is planned in advance or is a last-minute decision, appropriate c-section recovery time and proper aftercare is a must for a new mom’s health. Luckily, the ancient practice of acupuncture has been used to help women recover and regain their good health for ages. If you are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant in the near future, read on to learn more about acupuncture after c-section.


The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) View on Postpartum Recovery

Practitioners of TCM often refer to the postpartum recovery period as the Fourth Trimester. During this period, women have plenty of social support from their spouse as well as their extended family. This level of support aims to help alleviate the fatigue and stress that often accompanies caring for a newborn so that the new mom can get ample time to rest and relax.


C-section Recovery Time

A c-section is a substantial surgery that requires women to take some down time to heal. However, caring for a newborn leaves little to no time for the required amount of self-care. In fact, many women list physically recovering from childbirth as a major concern that can get in the way of them caring for their newborns. Vaginal delivery often results in a faster recovery for most women, whereas recovery after c-section is just like recovering from any abdominal or pelvic surgery. C-section recover time averages about four to six weeks for most new mothers.

Acupuncture after C-section

A c-section is not without its risks. Complications from c-section are a possibility. Thankfully, acupuncture after c-section is a safe, effective, drug-free option that will help women to quickly heal to allow them to properly care for their newborns. Examples such risks include:


  • Postoperative pain: Just like with any major abdominal or pelvic surgical procedure, pain during recovery after c-section is the norm. The Western medicine approach may sometimes involve treating postoperative pain with opioids. Though opioid medications are effective in treating pain, they come with a long list of dangerous, adverse side-effects.

A 2022 study out of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University Medicine of Greifswald in Germany used acupuncture for its pain management qualities on a group of 60 women who had undergone c-sections. Of those 60 women, 98% of them were fully mobile the first day after their c-section compared to 83% in the placebo group and only 58% of the group receiving standard care. This shows that acupuncture is an effective pain management tool without out the sever adverse side effects associated with opioids.

  • Scarring: Women who undergo a c-section will be left with a scar. Practitioners of TCM see this as the result of the Qi deficiency that is common after trauma as well as blood stagnation. Treatment with acupuncture and moxibustion, which involves the burning of moxa, will help to improve circulation while also resolving any blood stasis.
  • Stress and anxiety: Caring for a newborn will very likely come with a higher level of stress and anxiety during recovery from c-section. Acupuncture has a long history of being able to help reduce levels of physiological stress. Because it can restore balance to the nervous system, it is a safe and effective treatment for stress reduction during a new mother’s c-section recovery time.
  • Postoperative ileus: Because a c-section is a major procedure, it carries the risk of developing postoperative ileus. A known side effect of abdominal surgery, postoperative ileus refers to a lack of bowel function when recovering from surgery. Acupuncture, which involves the insertion of fine needles into various meridians on the body, has been shown to help resolve this condition.

A study out of the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine demonstrated that treatment with acupuncture helped to restore bowel function within 30 minutes of treatment with normal bowel movements returning about three hours after treatment.

C-section Recovery Tips

In addition to acupuncture after c-section, the following tips will also help to speed up c-section recovery time:

  • Healthy diet: During recovery after c-section, it is important to introduce nutrient-dense, well-tolerated foods in an effort to improving healing.  Be sure to include healthy foods such as warm soups with lean proteins and cooked vegetables for a faster recovery.
  • A support system: Having a few extra pairs of hands is always welcome when caring for a new baby. A strong support system allows new moms the downtime needed to fully recover. Be sure to ask for any needed assistance from friends and family to help with recovery after c-section.



Recovery after c-section can be a lengthy, stressful process for new mothers. C-section recovery time often lasts up to six weeks. To help with the stress and pain that are often present during this time, consider acupuncture after c-section. Unlike opioid drugs, acupuncture is a drug-free, safe, and effective treatment for pain that does not comes with the unwanted side effects associated with prescription medications.

Acupuncture will also help to reduce stress levels, scarring, and other unwanted side effects such as postoperative ileus. If you are expecting or planning to become pregnant, now is the time to speak to a TCM practitioner to discuss your postpartum care.

Looking for acupuncturist for recovery after C-section in London? Our partners, GinSen’s acupuncture clinics in London have been pioneers in acupuncture since 2002. As one of the leading acupuncture clinics in London. Their Acupuncturist are fully qualified with extensive experience and members of the UK Regulatory Bodies: ATCM and BAcC

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our consultation page where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

Acupuncture for Recovery after C-section

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