Acupuncture for birth preparation
A gentle and effective way to ready your body for childbirth
How acupuncture helps you during pregnancy
As many mothers will tell you, pregnancy and childbirth are unique and extraordinary experiences for the body. Over the course of pregnancy, a woman witnesses her body change and expand to accommodate her child. Sometimes those changes go smoothly and sometimes they don’t. There can be muscular or structural strains or restrictions that cause pain or discomfort, there can be circulatory impairments creating swelling and varicosities, as well as many other conditions brought on by the hormonal shifts during pregnancy such as insomnia, headaches, fatigue, constipation or heartburn..
Acupuncture is a resource for pregnant mothers to help manage their symptoms and feel good without the worry of side effects.
Preparing for birth
In the last weeks before childbirth, acupuncture can be used as an adjunct therapy to help the baby achieve optimum position for birth. It is also helpful as a way to prepare a mother’s body for labor. During childbirth, the pelvis, sacrum and surrounding muscles must be able to adjust for the baby’s departure. Acupuncture is an effective way to relax the muscles and ready them for the birthing process. If a child is breech, it is best to start acupuncture between 33-36 weeks as it becomes more difficult for the baby to move later in the pregnancy.
The last few weeks of pregnancy are also often the most physically uncomfortable. Acupuncture offers a way for expectant mothers to get some comfort and relaxation to better prepare them for the journey of birth.
There are an increasing number of studies assessing the effectiveness of acupuncture in labor induction. Preliminary research is showing a significant increase in women going into labor naturally with acupuncture and a lower rate of c-sections when using acupuncture.
For women who are overdue or in a position where induction is recommended prior to their due date, acupuncture and adjunct therapies, such as acupressure and moxibustion, are effective tools to bring on labor naturally. For greater effectiveness, it is recommended to receive 2-3 consecutive treatments spaced 24-48 hours apart. One benefit of acupuncture over other forms of labor induction is that it supports the body’s natural process without overriding it.