Acupuncture is often used as a safe and drug free method for the birthing process to unfold naturally. In fact, several studies have shown that acupuncture intervention is effective in facilitating a more efficient birth.
At Sage we find that the best results come when acupuncture is used as a pre-birth treatment, preparing the body for labor gradually with one treatment a week starting at 36-37 weeks gestation. This is the perfect time to reduce stress, and support energy and stamina for labor. Treatments are tailored to each individual woman’s constitution and pregnancy history, with a focus on ripening the cervix and positioning the baby optimally for labor.
In 2004 an observational study looking at the effect of pre-birth acupuncture (Medical acupuncture 2006 May; 17(3):17-20). Data on 169 women who received pre-birth acupuncture were compared to local population rates for gestation at onset of labor, incidence of medical induction, length of labor, use of analgesia and type of delivery.
In the acupuncture group comparing all caregivers (including midwives, GP’s and specialists) there was an overall
- 35% reduction in the number of inductions (for women having their first baby this was a 43% reduction) and a
- 31% reduction in the epidural rate.
When comparing midwifery only care, there was a
- 32% reduction in emergency caesarean delivery and a
- 9 % increase in normal vaginal births.
There was no statistical difference in the onset of early labor in those women receiving pre-birth acupuncture.