Birth Preparation & Induction Acupuncture
ACUPUNCTURE TO PREPARE YOU FOR BIRTHING YOUR BEAUTIFUL BABY INTO THE WORLD…
The fact that you are reading this page demonstrates that you are connected to birthing your baby in a way that feels aligned with the Mother that you are.
You are here as you want the best outcomes for both you and bub, and perhaps you are also here to more deeply connect with the prospect of enjoying the whole birthing experience. YES, YOU CAN ENJOY BIRTHING YOUR BABY! And not only can you enjoy it, you can thrive in the lead up to your baby’s birth, throughout the entire birthing process and well into your 4th trimester.
Acupuncture is a fabulous tool to add to your birth preparation toolkit, as it can assist with many areas that promote a healthy birth experience for both you and your baby.
Acupuncture has been shown in research to assist with the ripening of the cervix, the shortening of first stage and active labour times, and the possibility of reducing the incidences of medical induction and the use of epidurals in labour. (1,2,3,4)
Prebirth acupuncture, or birth preparation acupuncture (as we like to refer to it at Spring) is a natural and safe therapy to use at the end stages of pregnancy to prepare your whole self for the birth of your baby [physically, mentally and emotionally]. To do this we use acupuncture to;
- harmonise, relax and soften the muscles around the abdomen, hips, pelvis and cervix,
- naturally guide your physical body into optimal health,
- build and nourish your Qi (energy),
- and bring your mind into a calm and peaceful state.
This allows you to focus your attention on the immense joy and love you will experience when you hold your baby in your arms for the very first time.
If there was ever one life event that you need to be fully prepared for with optimal energy and a calm, peaceful mind and body, then it is definitely the birth of your baby.
Birth preparation acupuncture can also be a fantastic tool for those of your needing medical interventions, such as a c-section, to bring your baby safely into the world. Acupuncture for c-section preparation may promote an ideal physical and mental environment for an optimal post surgery recovery period, so that you can just focus on your new life as Mum to your beautiful baby.
We recommend starting your birth preparation acupuncture at 35-36 weeks gestation to optimise your response and outcomes.
What is the research saying???
Prebirth Acupuncture To Reduce Active Labour
A study on pregnant women having weekly acupuncture from 37 weeks found that acupuncture was successful in reducing the mean labour time by an average of almost 2hrs.(1)
Prebirth Acupuncture To Shorten First Stage Labour
One study evaluating the effect of acupuncture on labour found the following,
- Median duration of the first stage of labor was 196 min in group A (acupuncture) and 321 min in group B (control)
- Median duration of the second stage of labor was 57 min in group A and 57 min in group B
- Women without acupuncture (group B) received significantly more doses of oxytocin during the first stage of labor compared with group A women as well as during the second stage of labor.
They concluded this study with suggesting that acupuncture ‘is a recommendable form of childbirth preparation due to its positive effect on the duration of labor, namely by shortening the first stage of labor.’ (2)
Prebirth Acupuncture to Assist With Normal Vaginal Births
A 2004 study conducted by Betts & Lenox looked into the effects of prebirth acupuncture. They found that in the acupuncture group there was;
- a 35% reduction in the number of inductions (for women having their first baby this was a 43% reduction),
- a 31% reduction in the epidural rate.
- and when comparing midwifery only care there was a 32% reduction in emergency caesarean delivery and a 9% increase in normal vaginal births.
They concluded that ‘prebirth acupuncture appeared to provide some promising therapeutic benefits in assisting women to have normal vaginal births.’ (3)
Acupuncture For Cervical Ripening
A randomised controlled trial into the effects of acupuncture on cervical ripening was published by Rabl in 2001. (4) The researches involved in this study concluded that ‘Acupuncture at points LI 4 and SP 6 supports cervical ripening at term and can shorten the time interval between the estimated date of confinement (EDC) and the actual time of delivery.’ (4)
Acupuncture or Acupressure for pain relief in labour
A Cochrane review of 13 trials involving 1986 women, reported that acupuncture or acupressure may help relieve labour pain. The findings in this review reported that women receiving acupuncture or acupressure, saw benefits in terms of a reduction in pharmacological analgesia, less intense pain and increased maternal satisfaction. (5)
3. Betts D, Lennox S. Acupuncture for prebirth treatment: An observational study of its use in midwifery practice. Medical acupuncture 2006 May; 17(3):17-20
4. Rabl M, Ahner R, Bitschnau M, Zeisler H, Husslein P. Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labor at term–a randomized controlled trial. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2001 Dec 17;113(23-24):942-6. PMID: 11802511.
5. Hjelmstedt A, Shenoy ST, Stener-Victorin E, Lekander M, Bhat M, Balakumaran L, Waldenström U. Acupressure to reduce labor pain: a randomized controlled trial. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2010 Nov;89(11):1453-9. doi: 10.3109/00016349.2010.514323. Epub 2010 Sep 8. PMID: 20822474.