A recent study from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has concluded that "available evidence does not show that acupuncture helps diminish pain during labour".
Looking at ten randomised controlled trials from Europe, China and Iran, the report revealed that there is "little convincing evidence" for the effectiveness of acupuncture in this situation.
Commenting on the study, Dr Philip Lawes, director of the Academy of Oriental Medicine and fellow and advisor to the Institute for Complementary and Natural Medicine
, suggested that the technique was not well suited to treating labour pains.
"The insertion and retention of needles while the client is having contractions is not a good idea," he said.
Dr Lawes suggested that acupressure or massage could be more suitable in help women to cope with the pain of childbirth.
He added that some women were exploring methods like acupuncture as a way of avoiding using medication to treat problems during pregnancy.