A new study has suggested that acupuncture can help ease the symptoms of indigestion in pregnancy.
Digestive disorders are one of the most frequent complaints in pregnancy, with 45 to 80 per cent of women reporting heartburn, pain or discomfort, egurgitation, belching and bloating.
Researchers from Sao Paulo University in Brazil say that such symptoms tend to get worse as a pregnancy progresses.
For the study, they involved 36 women aged 15 to 39 who were 15 to 30 weeks into their pregnancy.
All were suffering symptoms of indigestion and none had had acupuncture in the previous year or had an underlying condition that could have caused the symptoms, and none had a history of similar problems before they fell pregnant.
On average, 12 needles were used and were left in the body for about 25 minutes per session.
The researchers found that average heartburn intensity fell by at least a half in 75 per cent women receiving acupuncture compared with 44 per cent women not receiving it.
"In our cohort, acupuncture proved to exert a great influence in minimising the heartburn in pregnancy during treatment," the Scotsman quoted the authors a saying.
The study is published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine.