Pre-Birth Acupuncture is Acupuncture in the third trimester and should begin at around 37 weeks gestation. The latest research shows that using Complementary medicine tools to help prepare for birth, improves birth outcomes with epidural rates and medical induction rates being significantly lower in women who did their preparation(link here). Acupuncture can be one of those brilliant tools to help you.
Pre-birth acupuncture is simply about using acupuncture to help the body prepare for birth. It doesn’t have to mean labour induction acupuncture and can just be a gentle signal to the nervous system and brain to begin birth preparations.
The latest research from Dr Kate Levett at Western Sydney University showed that the medical induction rates and epidural rates were significantly lower in women having completed a birth preparation course which showed couples how to use Acupressure, massage, breath practice, relaxation techniques and other manual therapies to help.
This is very different to the Hospital Ante-natal classes which can be a confronting experience as they can show you the best and worst of labouring, THOSE clips, talk about the pain and really only give you the medicalised options for birth.
A Birth Preparation course using the tools of Complementary Medicine, including breath practice, relaxation techniques, visualisation & massage is a great idea and there are ones such as She Births, Calm Birth & Hypnobirthing Australia, in Australia.
Adding Acupuncture as part of your Birth Preparation plan is a good idea too. The Acupressure can be used during the Pre-labour and first stage and transition.
Whereas, in an Acupuncture treatment you can simply lie back, relax and connect with your baby, while the Acupuncturist does all the work.
Pre-birth Acupuncture can focus on the following:
- Any back pain or musculoskeletal tension
- Fluid retention in the ankles & assisting lymphatic drainage
- De-stressing you and promoting relaxation & activating your Parasympathetic nervous system (a “rest & digest” state)
- Helping assist baby to move into an optimal position
- Pubic Pain or Osteitis Pubis from a low sitting baby
- Cervical Ripening – readying the cervix for thinning out.
All of these things can be done in Acupuncture sessions without actively bringing on labour.
If you have a medical reason to bring on labour early, as advised by your midwife or doctor, then Acupuncture for Labour Induction can be performed earlier than 40 weeks.
Reasons to Induce labour early with Acupuncture would be high blood pressure, pain or discomfort, any blood test result where the doctor thinks bringing on labour would be in the best interests of mother & child eg. Liver Function tests & high bilirubin. Another reason for women to use Acupuncture for Labour Induction is if they’re already overdue and want to avoid their waters being broken or being induced medically. You can read more about Labour Induction Acupuncture here in this blogpost.
To make an appointment for Pre-birth Acupuncture, begin this at 37 weeks. You can email me for an appointment on email@example.com