Acupuncture for Labour Induction
Labour induction is the process of starting labour artificially, usually medically.
Acupuncture doesn’t do this. Acupuncture can’t do anything artificial. However, acupuncture can be used to optimise the body’s natural ability to start labour and continue labour.
I prefer to call it labour preparation….and like most things when looked at holistically, acupuncture is just one part of the process.
When I see a woman wanting labour support, I take a case history similar to any other health condition and provide diet and lifestyle advice to support treatments.
Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture treat patterns of disharmony unique to that woman. So I’m looking for any reason why your body would hesitate to start labour naturally.
From an energetic perspective, this could look like a deficiency in energy to start labour (Yang deficiency), sub optimal position due to muscle or ligament tightness, a deficiency in nutritive energy and blood to the cervix (tight and closed cervix), chronic stress (Yin deficiency), a tightness in the ‘belt’ channel (preventing baby from moving down), difficulty ‘letting go’ (Qi stagnation) which can present as anxiety or fear.
Positioning of baby can have a huge impact on the body being ready to go into labour. It can help to ask your midwife or OB about the position of your baby to know if there’s more we can do to support your baby in the best position for birth.
Your Acupuncture Pregnancy Treatment Plan
I start prepping the body for labour from 32 weeks. No oxytoxin points. The focus is on unblocking existing energy stagnations, building blood and energy to prepare the cervix and body for labour as well as focusing on keeping you calm, improving sleep and alleviating aches and pains.
I start to include some oxytocin points, continue to soften cervix and really focus on baby’s position in the pelvis. I have acupuncture protocols to optimise baby’s position as well as continue to treat symptoms like swollen ankles, fatigue and insomnia
And in some cases 39 weeks if baby is well positioned or there’s the chance of medical induction, we start strongly stimulating oxytocin acupuncture points and sacral points to encourage onset of labour
Other situations where acupuncture can be helpful:
- Waters have broken and labour hasn’t started and your OB or midwife has recommended waiting 24 hours before arriving at the hospital for labour induction
- Lost mucous plug but labour hasn’t started
- A medical induction is booked at 39 weeks and you’d like to try everything possible to go into labour on your own before then
- A medical induction is booked and you’d like to do something to support a shorter labour and reduce chance of tearing
- You’ve had a stretch and sweep and would like to do something else to support the start of labour
If you have any other questions about how acupuncture can help you in your labour preparation, please get in touch.