Is Cupping during pregnancy safe...?
When considering using Cupping Therapy with your pregnant clients, always - first and foremost - refer to your own Scope of Practice and educational background before making the determination that Cupping is an acceptable treatment method. Traditional Chinese Medicine professionals as well as Acupuncture professionals will approach Cupping during pregnancy from a different perspective than, say, a Massage Therapist or Physiotherapist.
It is important to understand that when we are referring to Cupping during pregnancy on this website, we are referring to Dry Cupping with silicone or polycarbonate plastic cups only. If you are performing Wet Cupping or Fire Cupping, please conduct your own research and discuss the efficacy of the treatment with your licensing or regulating body.
It likely goes without saying - however, we are going to say it anyhow! - during pregnancy, avoid cupping to the lower and upper abdomen. Some resources indicate that Cupping on the lower back can be done up until the sixth month of pregnancy using ONLY light or medium dynamic cupping or gliding/sliding cupping methods. Generally speaking, if your client is NOT experiencing issues with their low back and gluteus/hip regions then do not cup in that area - always perform your Cupping treatments with intention! If your client is experiencing pain in the low back and gluteus/hip region, be sure to conduct a thorough assessment and treat the specific areas using light, Dynamic Cupping only.
It is generally recommended that Cupping Therapy not be performed in the first trimester of pregnancy due to the hormonal changes taking place within the body.
If your client is anemic or on blood thinners, this would be considered a contraindication - not the pregnancy itself, but the additional presenting factors.