Did you know Acupuncture can be recommended by midwives to initiate labour? Doctors can also be supportive of trying methods such as acupuncture to bring on labour naturally. Here we discuss Acupuncture to bring on Labour, what’s involved and how the body can respond.
I’ve had several clients enquiring about Acupuncture to bring on Labour recently and for various reasons, which simply stimulated me to write a blog about it. Some Women want to avoid a medical or surgical induction. Some have been booked in ahead of time for a Caesarian, simply because they’ve gone over their due date and want the chance to labour naturally if possible before their surgery. Some have the OBGYN’s ok to induce a natural labour early because of their medical history, labour history (women delivering their 2nd child) or other complications.
How can Acupuncture to bring on Labour help me?
If you’re nearing your labour due date (anywhere from 37 weeks onwards) or have gone over your due date, Acupuncture to bring on Labour can help in the following ways:
-It may encourage the baby’s head to engage and for them to “drop”
-It may help uterine contractions and assist pre-labour signs
-It can relax you, so you’re calm & focused on you and your baby before the birth
There is a difference between Pre-Birth Acupuncture and Acupuncture to bring on Labour. Pre-Birth Acupuncture is a readying process of the body for labour with plenty of time on your side. Comparing it to Acupuncture to bring on Labour which is more about encouraging movement of the baby in the uterus and to assist engagement prior to labour. This often has a shorter time frame to work with, due to C-Sections being booked in advance and OBGYNs not letting their patients “go too long” after their due date.
To hear more about Pre Birth Acupuncture, I’ve discussed it in more detail in this blog post here.
Here’s what you need to know about Acupuncture to bring on Labour; It’s Safe:
- When performed by a Registered Acupuncturist
- The needles are single use, sterile & disposable.
- Your belly isn’t needled. Instead, acupoints are used in other areas, such as hands and feet.
What’s involved in an Acupuncture treatment for Labour Induction?
Like any other acupuncture session, you can receive acupuncture lying down on a treatment table or seated, whatever is most comfortable for you. There is a well known protocol of acupoints used specifically for labour induction. The focus of the treatment is to stimulate pre-labour signs or uterine contractions, but relaxation is also a big part of the session. The more relaxed you are, the more likely your body will go into labour.
When can you start treatment?
If overdue, you can start immediately. If a Hospital induction is scheduled, try acupuncture beforehand. Or if hoping to get baby delivered on time, you can start acupuncture from 37 weeks.
How many treatments?
Best practice is to try 2 to 3 treatments. Sometimes one Acupuncture treatment is enough.
Its all about Relaxation…of the mind, the muscles and the cervix.
When successful, labour can begin within 24 to 48 hours after acupuncture.
Position of baby is key. If baby is in an accomodating position, the acupuncture can assist and facilitate the natural progression of labour. On the other hand, if baby is NOT in an accomodating position, it doesn’t matter how many acupuncture treatments you receive or any other methods (eg sex, curries, walking), it will be difficult to initiate labour.
According to Spinning Babies, the “correct” position involves a lot more than just head down and they discuss it here.
For any further questions about Acupuncture for Labour Induction, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discuss your situation.