Acupuncture Treatments for Pre-Birth and Labour
Acupuncture can offer a safe gentle option whilst pregnant. Most pregnant women seek out acupuncture for pregnancy related conditions like morning sickness, back pain, heartburn, carpal tunnel syndrome, drug free treatment of pain or anxiety and breech presentation.
Starting in 1974, research demonstrated that acupuncture once a week, staring at the 36th week of pregnancy, successfully reduced the duration of labour. The average time of labour for first time mothers receiving pre-birth acupuncture was 6 hours and 36 minutes compared to the control groups’ average of 8 hours and 2 minutes (Kubista 1974). Another study showed the average time of labour for those receiving pre-birth acupuncture was some 3 hours and 26 minutes compared to the control groups labour time of 5 hours and 35 minutes (Tempfer 1998).
In The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth, author and acupuncturist Debra Betts listened to midwives, who reported that pre-birth acupuncture helps soften and dilate the cervix in preparation for childbirth (p143). The midwives in this study believed that pre-birth acupuncture should be offered to all pregnant women as it shortened labour time—specifically active labour—and reduced the rate of hospital interventions, such as medical inductions and caesarean sections (p141). Betts also conducted an observational study, in which 169 women received pre-birth acupuncture and were then compared to local population rates. The study found 35% less of the mothers receiving acupuncture, needed an induction of labour, and a 31% reduction in epidural rates (Betts 2004).
The British Acupuncture Council leaflet available on this subject. Link
For pre-birth acupuncture, Please call me if you wish to discuss how I may help you.