Acupuncture is a safe, natural method of preparing for labour. If you are approaching or past your due date, acupuncture can help prepare your body for a natural birth.
Acupuncture helps to support the body for birth by helping to soften the cervix, promote uterine tone and encourage the baby into an optimal position for delivery.
My treatments are gentle and relaxing – I believe the natural processes of the body should be supported rather than forced, and I usually avoid strong techniques to induce labour.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to support women during pregnancy, induce labour and help the baby into an optimal position for birth. Acupuncturists practicing in Australia must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Authority after completing a minimum of 4 years of study in a Bachelor degree program. A systematic review of the use of acupuncture in pregnancy found that the incidence of adverse events was 1.3%, with the most common being needle pain and bruising.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments depends on your individual situation. I usually recommend a weekly treatment from 35 weeks of pregnancy to balance your energy and prime your body for birth. Once your due date has past, treatments may be increased to 2 or 3 a week to encourage spontaneous labour.
When should I start?
Ideally you will have pre-labour treatments from 35 weeks, but you can start at any time. Going past your due date can cause stress and anxiety, particularly if you have had a previous negative experience or caesarian section; acupuncture can help to calm your mind and help you feel ready to embrace the birth process.
I am hoping to have a VBAC – can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture is a very good preparatory therapy for women with a previous caesarian as it can support uterine and help to ripen the cervix naturally. It is generally worth starting treatments before your due date, ideally around 35 weeks, to allow time to prepare your body for natural birth.