Pre-birth acupuncture refers to a series of treatments in the final weeks of pregnancy to prepare you for labour. Acupuncture can provide physical and emotional support during labour, birth and the immediate postpartum period. Research suggests pre-birth acupuncture treatments can reduce the duration of labour, the rates of induction and medical intervention during the birth. Midwives in New Zealand have been using acupuncture as a pre-birth protocol since 1997 and have recorded and published very positive results.
Acupuncture treatments before birth are aimed at helping the woman’s body to prepare for the birth, with emphasis on preparing the cervix and pelvis for labour. The acupuncture points used boost energy and nourish the blood in the body, soften the ligaments and tendons prior to labour, and aid in cervical dilation. Others can be added to the treatment to help address any issues and conditions that may be present. It has been noted in research from New Zealand that women who receive pre-birth treatment, either go into spontaneous labour around their due dates, or if induction is required they respond well to acupuncture induction and move efficiently into a natural labour.
Treatment FrequencyGenerally our pre-birth protocol requires you to attend one treatment per week for three to four weeks prior to the expected date of delivery. Depending on your needs, more frequent visits may be recommended. Treatment is gentle, and the experience of pre-birth treatments is deeply relaxing and provides a superb natural preparation to the birth experience.
There are acupuncture protocols for labour induction which can be included in the pre-birth treatment if necessary. In the event of a delayed labour, treatments can be performed daily until labour starts.