Overdue? Want to try something more natural than medical induction? Why not acupuncture?

Chances are you don’t know the use of acupuncture in labour induction yet. However, as a matter of fact, acupuncture has been used successfully to promote labour naturally.

 Why acupuncture? What are the benefits?

Generally mums are looking for something that can help them avoid medical induction, or make medical induction quicker and easier if they do need one eventually. Acupuncture holds many benefits:

  • Effective, non-invasive, less emotionally traumatic;
  • Supports cervical ripening at term;
  • Naturally stimulates uterine contractions;
  • Helps baby engaged;
  • Shortens the time interval between due date and delivery;
  • Reduces the likelihood of medical induction;
  • Calms mind in cases of emotional distress;
  • Strengthens body in case of physical exhaustion.

What is an acupuncture session for the purpose of induction?

After a relaxed consultation, comes the business part. I would ask the woman to sit on the bed with her feet on a chair at the side, or if she prefers, sit over a chair with her arms resting on the back of the chair. Then, one point (He Gu LI4) on each hand, and one point (San Yin Jiao SP6) on each lower leg are needled. So are another pair of points or two at the lower back (Ci Liao BL32, or plus Shang Liao BL31). 20 minutes of needle retention follows. Or alternatively, strong stimulation (needle manipulation in order to obtain strong needle sensation) follows. Personally, I think stimulation works better, not very pleasant though (but, many reckon it is much better than medical induction).

An additional point (Jian Jing GB21) can be used in the case that baby has not engaged. (You may wonder what an amazing point it is.) Other points may be added when the woman has some other symptoms.

After the removal needles, normally I will teach her some acupressure that she needs to apply at home in the following days. It is very easy, so don’t be scared.

How quick will it work?

Very good question, but no one knows for sure. Most women experience uterus hardening or/and contractions during treatment or shortly after treatment. Repeated treatments are normally necessary.

So, good luck, new mums!

Bear in mind, though, sometimes no matter how hard you try, your baby may just want to choose his own time to get into this world. Therefore, you may just need to wait when he is ready.

Acupuncture and Labour Induction
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