Time and time again, I have been amazed at the number of expecting patients who have sought out acupuncture to assist with natural labour induction. In most cases, these patients were able to have their labour be induced naturally without the need for medical induction.
Acupuncture essentially involves the insertion of small filiform wires into various parts of the body to stimulate the body’s nervous system to induce a healing response.
I’m expecting! When should I come in for acupuncture?
In the case of expectant mothers and birthing people, we use acupuncture as a means to soften and dilate the cervix to induce the onset of labour contractions. Ideally, patients would come to an acupuncturist at about 35 weeks for the rest of the duration of their pregnancy. Typically, patients would come into the clinic weekly where we would focus on preparing the body and mind for a healthy active labour. During this time many issues associated with the third trimester can be alleviated and minimized such as waking at night, headaches, back pain, or constipation.
At about 38 weeks, patients would then come twice a week where we would shift our treatment focus to supporting the cervix to prepare for active labour while also relaxing the lower abdominal tissues to create more space for the baby. Acupuncture works cumulatively, and like any medicine is dose-dependent. Patients can maximize their results by adhering to an acupuncture treatment plan designed specifically for them and seen through till completion. In all cases, prevention is better than a cure and acupuncture therapy works best when treatments are stacked successively creating a systemic and natural effect on the patients’ health.
Can acupuncture help me at 40+ weeks pregnant?
I have seen cases where patients have also come in at 40+ weeks who are nervous and wary of medical induction. In most cases, I have seen great results through acupuncture without the need for medical induction. Acupuncture relaxes the tissues, eases stress and allows for the natural dilation of the cervix. This has a profound effect on creating the right internal terrain to naturally induce labour. There are cases where acupuncture is not ideal for inducing labour. If for example, a baby is in the breech position at 41+ weeks; it would be very difficult to turn the baby and labour induction acupuncture would not be indicated as they would need more assisted care for the birthing process.
Acupuncture is amazing at supporting expectant mothers and birthing people for naturally inducing labour. To know if you would be a good fit for acupuncture for labour induction; it is best to discuss your health concerns with a trained acupuncturist and/or Chinese medicine practitioner. At OAK Physio & Wellness we offer free 15-minute consults with Rian Scott (R. Ac) where we can discuss your health concerns and see if acupuncture would be helpful to address them successfully. You can book your 15-minute free appointment easily through our online booking system.