Updated: Apr 16, 2018
Acupuncture for the Preparation of Labor
For hundreds of year’s Chinese medicine has physically supported women before giving birth. Acupuncture is utilized to assist the women’s body to get ready for the birthing process. Acupuncture facilitates the healthy progression of key physical markers such as relaxing of pelvic ligaments/cervical dilation and regular uterine contractions.
Suggested treatment starts in week 34-36 with weekly treatments up to the due date. Current research indicates there was an overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions, 31% reduction in the epidural rate; 32% reduction in emergency cesarean delivery; and a 9% increase in normal vaginal birth for women who used acupuncture for pre birth. Simply worded, my clients who had weekly acupuncture tell me their labor was shorter and proceeded smoothly.
Acupuncture for the Third Trimester of Pregnancy and Post-partum can be very helpful with:
Preparation for labor
Induction of labor
In the last phase of pregnancy, acupuncture has the ability to gently relieve pain and prepare the body for labor. During the third trimester of pregnancy clients should be cautious of their back and avoid lifting heavy objects.
As you move closer to your due date, the pelvic ligaments are softening in preparation for labor combined with the baby bump will shift your center of gravity making you susceptible to back injury. If you are in pain please come in and get supportive care to enjoy the last weeks of your pregnancy. Research has found acupuncture to be effective pain relief during pregnancy.
If your baby is breeched, moxibustion can help to turn your baby. The technique involves burning an herb above the small toe and has been shown to be an effective method of turning a breeched baby. More OBGYN’s are referring clients with breeched babies to acupuncturists for this corrective modality. To obtain the best results, treatment should begin in week 34 -36 of pregnancy.
During this prime time the baby is small enough in the uterus to allow ample room for movement. As your pregnancy progresses, it becomes more difficult to turn the baby as it much larger. Turning a baby with Chinese medicine is not completely understood, but it appears the treatment releases hormones that stimulate the uterus to relax and increase baby movement.
Treatment involves 1 or 2 treatments in a week, followed by an ultrasound to verify if the baby has turned. Depending on when the treatment process has started, additional treatments might follow.
Labor Induction – Acupuncture to Promote Contractions
Acupuncture is effective for promoting labor in either a delayed labor presentation or infrequent/irregular contractions scenario.
Working with you and your baby in the Third Trimester to understand and prepare you both for birth, is just one of the many ways Traditional Chinese Medicine is different but complimentary to Western Medicine.
Eca Brady is a fully licensed physician of Chinese Medicine BSc(Ac) MBAcC PGDip(CHM), specialising in Women's Health and practicing from Harley Street, London. Make an appointment for an acupuncture treatment and we can discuss how we can help you, to read more about Eca click here #AcupunctureThirdTrimester