Naturopaths, Massage, Nutritionists, Acupuncturists & Osteopaths in Brisbane

Acupuncture to induce labour

The Vibe Natural Health approach to inducing labour with acupuncture.

If you have reached or are past your pregnancy due date, you may be considering how to bring on labour or natural alternatives to a medical induction of labour. As an Acupuncturist and Registered Nurse, I use acupuncture to induce labour in Brisbane, working from Vibe Natural Health. 

Depending on the model of care you have chosen for your labour (midwife / obstetrician) you may have a greater time-frame in which to await the arrival of your baby. If you have been given a medical induction of labour date and wish to use Acupuncture to induce labour, it is optimal to allow at least 3-7 days to undergo a series of acupuncture labour induction treatments.

The protocol for acupuncture to induce labour generally includes up to three Acupuncture treatments over a 3 – 7 day period (depending on your situation.)

Some women will experience physical sensations during the acupuncture treatment, others will not.

Reducing stress, anxiety and tension is a core component of Acupuncture induction, you will feel more relaxed and prepared for labour after your treatment. It is difficult to predict how a woman will respond to acupuncture labour induction treatments as there are many variables. Some women will progress into labour after their first acupuncture treatment, but it is more common after 2 or 3 treatments. If you begin to show signs of pre-labour indicators such as a downward bearing sensation, lower back discomfort or abdominal tightening in the hours or days after a treatment it is highly likely that you will progress to labour.

Acupuncture is a safe, natural and viable option for encouraging the inducing of labour, however it is still an artificial intervention. It is not in keeping with the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine to ‘force’ the body to do something it is not yet ready to do. Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the production of some of the hormones involved in the early stages of labour, however if the body (and baby) have decided that it is not ready, labour may not progress.

If you complete a series of treatments and have not gone into labour, the time and effort will not have been wasted. Any Acupuncture treatments received in the period leading up to labour will still have many physiological, hormonal and emotional benefits that will assist in your birth and bonding.

It is important to note that most Acupuncturists will not attempt to induce labour before 40 weeks. There are supportive treatments that can be done during this time (see our pregnancy acupuncture brisbane page) but the use of Acupuncture points that have been shown to initiate labour are usually reserved for post due date treatments only.

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