by Deb Valentin:
I love to support women during pregnancy. There are so many benefits to getting acupuncture treatments during pregnancy and particularly in the later stages, it helps promote labor as well as reduce stress and anxiety before the little one arrives!
Some of the benefits of acupuncture for labor induction:
Acupuncture should be one of the first approaches when helping with labor induction. It helps to naturally stimulate cervical ripening as well as aids in promoting contractions. One to two treatments may be needed in order to help a women go into labor and contractions can start anywhere from 24-48 hours after treatment. The beauty of acupuncture treatments is that not only does it help promote labor; it helps to reduce stress and anxiety. My patients often feel calm and balanced after treatment, which is how I want them to feel before their baby is born.
A small study done at the University of North Carolina showed among the pregnant women who received three acupuncture sessions, 70% went into labor naturally and 39% of those who received acupuncture did not have caesarean sections compared to 17% of women who did not have acupuncture.
Marie’s Labor Story
Marie was 40 weeks pregnant when she came into my office. She was terrified of getting medically induced so she was looking for alternative approaches to help promote labor. She had been 1 cm dilated for a week with no changes in her cervix. She suffered a lot of anxiety and stress during this time. I gave Marie two treatments in three days to help ripen the cervix and promote contractions. Marie began going into labor shortly after the second treatment and had delivered the following day. Not only did the acupuncture work to help her birth her son but she said the treatments made her feel less anxious and calmer.
Acupuncture is a great alternative for helping labor induction. It is safe and effective for both mommy and baby. The journey to having a baby is a wonderful experience and helping support women during this time is such a privilege.
If you have questions regarding how acupuncture can help your specific health concerns during pregnancy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Erica is a Childbirth Doula in NYC. Her present focus is on the postpartum period.