- Back pain
- Pelvic pain
- Breech position
- Preparation for labor
- Induction of labor
In the last phase of pregnancy, acupuncture has the ability to gently relieve pain and prepare the body for labor. During the third trimester of pregnancy clients should be cautious of their back and avoid lifting heavy objects. As you move closer to your due date, the pelvic ligaments are softening in preparation for labor combined with the baby bump will shift your center of gravity making you susceptible to back injury. If you are in pain please come in and get supportive care to enjoy the last weeks of your pregnancy. Research has found acupuncture to be effective pain relief during pregnancy.
If your baby is breeched, moxibustion can help to turn your baby. The technique involves burning an herb above the small toe and has been shown to be an effective method of turning a breeched baby. More OBGYN’s are referring clients with breeched babies to acupuncturists for this corrective modality. To obtain the best results, treatment should begin in week 34 -36 of pregnancy. During this prime time the baby is small enough in the uterus to allow ample room for movement. As your pregnancy progresses, it becomes more difficult to turn the baby as it much larger. Turning a baby with Chinese medicine is not completely understood, but it appears the treatment releases hormones that stimulate the uterus to relax and increase baby movement.
Treatment involves 1 or 2 treatments in a week, followed by an ultrasound to verify if the baby has turned. Depending on when the treatment process has started, additional treatments might follow.
Acupuncture for the Preparation of Labor
For hundreds of year’s Chinese medicine has physically supported women before giving birth. Acupuncture is utilized to assist the women’s body to get ready for the birthing process. Acupuncture facilitates the healthy progression of key physical markers such as relaxing of pelvic ligaments/cervical dilation and regular uterine contractions.
Clients start treatment in week 34-36 with weekly treatments up to the due date. Current research indicates there was an overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions, 31% reduction in the epidural rate; 32% reduction in emergency cesarean delivery; and a 9% increase in normal vaginal birth for women who used acupuncture for pre birth. Simply worded, my clients who had weekly acupuncture tell me their labor was shorter and proceeded smoothly.
Labor Induction – Acupuncture to Promote Contractions
Acupuncture is effective for promoting labor in either a delayed labor presentation or infrequent/irregular contractions scenario.
OBGYN’s are referring clients to acupuncture for labor induction when women are not meeting their labor markers (such as cervical dilation). It may take several treatments to promote regular contractions and cervical dilation, so schedule your appointments several days before your hospital induction date, allow for ample time between their first acupuncture session and their induction date.