Acupuncture is increasingly being recommended as a pre birthing treatment and is currently used routinely in hospitals in Germany and by trained Midwives in New Zealand. It involves the use of specific Acupuncture points mostly located on the legs that help prepare the cervix and pelvis for labour and other customised points are chosen that may help alleviate other symptoms (eg pain) you have at the time. Acupressure points for labour are also taught during these sessions.
The recommended time to commence Pre-birth Acupuncture is 36/37 weeks, with once a week treatments until 40 weeks. This is based on classical treatments and positive research papers, of which you can see more of here. Acupuncture is done in conjunction with regular testing and monitoring from Midwives and Obstetricians to ensure safety for mother and baby. Acupuncture can be done before this time to help alleviate other health symptoms but would not be specifically Pre-Birth Acupuncture.
Though more rigorous scientific trials are needed in this area, and while this study does not meet the gold standard of systematic reviews of randomised control trials (see more on Chinese Medicine research here), an observational study had positive findings. The study was conducted by midwives over 4 months in New Zealand in 2004 with 169 pregnant women taking part. It found results supported the findings of earlier studies by Zeisler et al in 1998 and concluded the number of women who had Pre-Birth Acupuncture going into labour without intervention was higher, labour time was shorter and the epidural rate was lower.
Every pregnancy is different and there is no one size fits all approach. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about how we would address your unique situation, please contact Danielle at email@example.com or call 0432 544 610