by Stef Cordes and Lisa Baird
Acupuncture for induction of labour is earning a reputation as an effective way to significantly increase chances of naturally going into labour. Acupuncture induction is becoming popular among people preferring to avoid conventional medical induction (and the cascade of medical interventions that often result). We do induction treatments at GCA every week.
In order to promote labour, we use points on the hands, legs and feet to move energy downwards and outwards. We add points for building strength (labour is hard work!) and we can also treat other complaints (like lower back pain, hip pain, or anxiety for example) as necessary.
We have observed that acupuncture is effective for inducing people who are past their due dates, especially if they are able to have daily treatments (our sliding scale makes this an option for more people, which is probably one of the reasons why we do so many induction treatments). When someone is scheduled for a medical induction which they would prefer to avoid, we generally advise them to come in for acupuncture at least a few times before the medical induction date for the best chance of effectiveness.
Acupuncture is an effective induction treatment, but we can’t guarantee a specific timeframe. Generally, if the baby is ready to be born then acupuncture will do the trick; if the baby isn’t ready, acupuncture can’t force anything to happen.
Acupuncture is also an excellent treatment for stress and anxiety–relaxation is the most common side effect of acupuncture. The body has an innate intelligence when it comes to labour and knows what to do, but anxiety, worry, and stress can interfere with us letting go and allowing the body to do what it instinctively knows. Quite a few of our patients comment that the acupuncture helped them feel relaxed and centred as they entered labour.
If you have any questions about how acupuncture can help you to start labour, please get in touch.