Naturopaths, Massage, Nutritionists, Acupuncturists & Osteopaths in Brisbane

Acupuncture to induce labour

The Vibe Natural Health approach to inducing labour with acupuncture.

Acupuncture induction is vastly different to a biomedical induction of labour procedure and you should be guided by your midwife or obstetrician if you have reached or are past your pregnancy due date.

Acupuncture is a gentle modality and although the scientific evidence is unclear to date, it may help induce labour when the baby is overdue and is potentially an alternative to a Syntocinon drip or prostaglandin gel labour induction.

Although science doesn’t yet back up the traditional usage, there are acupuncture points which acupuncturists learn in their training are not to be used during pregnancy. These points, as recorded in the classical texts are thought to stimulate uterine contractions.

There are also acupuncture points on the body that have a descending action. Some women will experience physical sensations during the acupuncture treatment, others will not. Acupuncture works on improving blood flow and may encourage the body to release hormones such as oxytocin and prostaglandins known to initiate labour.  It may also encourage the baby downward into the birth canal.

Traditionally, the protocol for acupuncture to promote the induction of labour generally includes up to three treatments over a 3 – 7-day period - although every pregnancy and birth is different.

Because acupuncture has good evidence of potential positive effect in reducing stress, anxiety and tension, which is a core component of our Acupuncture induction treatment, you will likely feel more relaxed and prepared for labour after your treatment. It is difficult to predict how a woman will respond as there are many variables.

Acupuncture is considered natural and viable option for encouraging the induction of labour, however it is still an artificial intervention. As with all medical intervention some risk is involved, however the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine is not 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.

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.