Past your due date and looking for safe and effective approaches of inducing labor? Or maybe your due date is rapidly approaching, and you just want to cover all your bases to avoid any complications when the big moment comes?
What ever the case may be, acupuncture can be just the solution you are looking for.
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes, acupuncture is completely safe. In fact, they have been using acupuncture to assist with pregnancy for hundreds of years in China.
That is one of the greatest advantages of using acupuncture for induction, is its lack of harmful side effects. Acupuncture can safely nudge the body towards labour helping the body to relax, baby to descend and contractions to progress consistently.
Is acupuncture effective in inducing labor?
Acupuncture treatments have been an effective method to induce labor for many women. Acupuncture can help:
- Increase and regulate labor contractions
- Increase cervical ripening
- Increase baby’s activity
- Increase uterine blood flow
- Descend baby
Acupuncture can help induce the onset of labor, and can help regulate the frequency of contractions if they are not increasing in frequency naturally. How does acupuncture do this? Acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, which is a hormone that increases the contraction of the uterus during labor.
Aids Cervical Ripening
Cervical ripening is a process necessary for labor that involves the softening, distending, and dilation of the cervix. Acupuncture can improve cervical ripening by encouraging the baby to further descend into the pelvis. Aiding in shortening the cervix and softening the cervix.
Increases Baby’s Activities
Another way acupuncture can help induce labor is by making the baby a more active participant. Acupuncture can help transition the baby from a state of rest (Yin) to a more active state (Yang). As baby becomes more active prior to labour it helps the baby to position better into the pelvis and move lower and lower preparing for it’s big debut!
How often are treatments needed?
Most women that have used acupuncture to help induce labor have reporting needing anywhere from 1-4 treatments. While the results are not immediate, some women have only one treatment before going into labor in the next 24 hours.
What about Acupressure?
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, and can also be effective in inducing labor. Rather than using needles, acupressure applies physical pressure to induce labor.
Acupressure uses various points along the meridian system, known as the life-energy path, to produce the desired results.
Acupuncture can provide other benefits during pregnancy and labor as well. For example, acupuncture helps:
- Reduce stress
- Reduce pain
- Can shorten labor
Reducing Stress and Pain
This is a huge perk of acupuncture for many reasons. The most important reason being that stress may be the issue delaying labor in the first place.
Soon to be moms feeling the stress of being a new mom or the fear of encroaching labour, will have increased level of the stress hormone cortisol in their systems. This hormone can delay labor because elevated levels tell the body it is not safe for labor to begin.
Acupuncture helps regulate the stress hormone cortisol.
Another advantage to acupuncture treatments is pain reduction during labor.
Acupuncture can not only help spark the induction of labor, but also shorten the labor process. By helping prepare the uterus and cervix for labor, and regulating contractions, it can help coordinate and balance the course of the labor.
If you are past your due date or fast approaching it and want to have a natural birth, acupuncture can help prepare your body for labour. It is safe and effective in helping your body start and progress through labour.