Acupuncture for Labour Induction

If you’re pregnant, or have already had a baby you’ve probably heard acupuncture can induce labour. You’re right, it can! Sometimes it takes just one appointment, but usually takes a few to get things moving.

How does it work? I like to start the appointment using electric stimulation acupuncture on some points in the low back to help relax muscles in the pelvis. Using electric stimulation on the needles means they are stimulated more, similar to a TENS machine.This technique doesn’t hurt, but you do feel vibration. I usually do this while my patient is sitting on a stool reclining forward on to the treatment table and hugging some pillows. After about 15 minutes this set of needles is removed and you can get up on the treatment table in a comfortable side lying position. Now we’ll do points that help “descend qi” “transform phlegm” and “open the channels” that’s Chinese medicine talk for helping the baby descend to put pressure on the cervix and ease the membranes around the amniotic sac. We’ll also use points to help mum relax and one last point that releases oxytocin. I like to use electric stimulation on the oxytocin point to give it a little extra oomph as this it the point that really helps get contractions started.

I prefer to start labour induction appointments at 40 weeks as it’s really important for baby’s head to be pressing on the cervix in order for the contractions to be productive. But there is a lot we can do the help ease labour prior to 40 weeks without actually beginning the induction process. This would include treatments for; insomnia, pain, promoting relaxation, and helping baby descend further into the birth canal.

If you have questions about whether or not labour induction acupuncture is right for you please reach out! I’m happy to chat

Meghan DeSouza