Acupuncture is famously known for its relaxing effects and is becoming more widely known for its ability to promote fertility among men and women.
This is because the hundreds of tiny acupuncture points all over the body possess unique abilities to stimulate the endocrine system and restore hormonal balance. This natural boost to the body’s own highly sophisticated biological system also has a wonderful effect on mother and child both during pregnancy and can help induce a baby’s birth naturally.
In New Zealand, a study (Betts D, Lennox S, 2004) looked at 169 women who received pre-birth acupuncture given by midwives. Compared to local population rates there was an overall: 35% reduction in the number of medical inductions and for women having their first baby this was a 43% reduction.
General acupuncture can be used from 37 weeks to help the sinews relax at an even and appropriate rate, prepare the pelvis for labour, help ripen the cervix and help build the energy reserves of the mother. Induction specific acupuncture can begin from 41 weeks, when the average European woman gives birth. All acupuncturists require the pregnancy to be normal and the midwife to have sanctioned the use of acupuncture before agreeing to treat a client for induction.
From an energetic point of view, in order for labour to progress a woman’s energy needs to be invigorated to move downwards with the baby. This can depend on the readiness of mum. It’s hard to find enough time to wind down and nest, when busy in the workplace, home or with other children. Emotions like fear or frustration can also become a barrier. Sometimes just having an honest, supportive and confidential chat about feelings around birth and motherhood can get things moving energetically.
Acupuncture helps with energetic movement and hormone secretion. Certain points are used specifically to send the body’s energy down and promote relaxation. The frequency of induction treatment will depend on where mum and baby are at themselves. You can have success with just one induction treatment, typically if you’ve had acupuncture before, but more commonly after 2 to 3 treatments, which can be as often as every other day.