Naturopaths, Massage, Nutritionists, Acupuncturists & Osteopaths in Brisbane

Pregnancy acupuncture for birth preparation in brisbane

Birth Preparation Acupuncture in Brisbane

Acupuncture is becoming more widely recognised as a treatment option for many pregnancy related health issues and the effectiveness of acupuncture for labour induction is well documented. Acupuncture helps relieve stress and improves blood flow which may allow you to have a more relaxed labour.

Pregnancy acupuncture can be used at any time to support a healthy pregnancy and towards the end of the third trimester, the focus moves to strengthening and preparing your body for birth. Constitutionally, we want to build you up because baby is taking a lot from your body, and we want you to be prepared both physically and emotionally for labour. 

Studies suggest that a program of regular pre-birth pregnancy acupuncture has many benefits for a healthy pregnancy. The health goals of many of our pregnancy patients are to:

  • reduce the time spent in labour
  • reduce the rates of medical induction
  • reduce epidural requirements
  • reduce emergency caesarean sections
  • increase rates of natural and uncomplicated vaginal births
  • reduce post-natal depression

Pre-birth pregnancy acupuncture is also beneficial for women who are required to or choose to deliver by elective caesarean. There is good supportive evidence that acupuncture during pregnancy can aid post-operative recovery and reduce pain from caesarean births. A pilot study in 2016 with 20 patients found acupuncture for additional analgesia after caesarean section was well accepted and further research is recommended. (Chen, Chang, & Hsu, 2005) (Hesse, Henkel, Zygmunt, Mustea, & Usichenko, 2016).

Birth Preparation with Pregnancy Acupuncture

There is also evidence of potential positive effect for reducing pregnancy and labour pain.

  • The best time to start a program of birth preparation pregnancy acupuncture is from 34 – 36 weeks.

It is at this time that the body naturally starts to initiate physiological and hormonal changes to facilitate birth. The focus of Acupuncture treatments in pregnancy is to promote relaxin hormone regulation to assist in ‘ripening’ the cervix’, allowing dilation, labour and delivery. The ligaments and tendons that support the pelvic bones also begin to soften and relax. Pregnancy acupuncture and massage through the lower back, hips and pelvis promotes these changes allowing more effective expansion for birth.

It is natural to have some apprehension regarding the process of birth particularly if it is your first baby, or if you have had a difficult labour before. However, the hormones associated with stress and anxiety are a significant hindrance to the commencement of and progression through the stages of labour. Acupuncture can stimulate natural endorphins allowing you to feel calmer and in control of your birth experience. It also stimulates the production of oxytocin which aids in contractions, breast-feeding and bonding.

 

Chen, H.-M., Chang, F.-Y., & Hsu, C.-T. (2005). Effect of Acupressure on Nausea, Vomiting, Anxiety and Pain among Post-cesarean Section Women in Taiwan. The Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, 21(8), 341–350. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1607-551X(09)70132-9

Hesse, T., Henkel, B., Zygmunt, M., Mustea, A., & Usichenko, T. I. (2016). Acupuncture for pain control after Caesarean section: a prospective observational pilot study. Acupuncture in Medicine?: Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, 34(1), 14–19. https://doi.org/10.1136/acupmed-2015-010852