Pre-Labor Acupuncture-How to Avoid Medical Induction
YinOva acupuncturist Laurel Axen Carroll blogs about acupuncture before labor.
I have had really great success treating pregnant women and helping them to go into labor “on-time”. These days not many doctors will allow their patients to carry past 41 weeks. Unfortunately, babies do not always know the time line which, leads to anxious moms worrying about pitocin, cervadil or a scheduled C-section. Stressed out moms make for tight muscles and a tense cervix which, is less than optimal if you are trying to go into labor.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with many pregnant women and have had a lot of success using a pre-labor protocol that was created by Debra Betts, a renowned midwife and acupuncturist from New Zealand. Most of the women who get this treatment go into labor “on time” usually by 40-41weeks, and have had relatively short (less than 12 hours which is short in my book) and often unmedicated labors. First time mothers may go past 40 weeks but in my practice I have had very few Mom’s who have been induced medically.
The treatment commences at about 36-37 weeks gestation and ends at the onset of labor. Treatment consists of a core group of acu-points that help facilitate muscle relaxation, a softening of the cervix and relaxation for the mind. During treatment I also addresses other issues that may be affecting the woman. This could be reflux, insomnia, back pain etc…
A recent study showed a 35% reduction in the number of inductions, (for first-time mothers this was a 43% reduction) and a 31% reduction in the epidural rate. When compared to a local midwifery practice (with no acupuncture) there was 32 % reduction in emergency Cesarean Sections and a 9% increase in normal vaginal births. Read the full study here.