Inducing labour with acupuncture

Inducing labour with acupuncture

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. I’ve had lots of success with just one induction treatment, typically with women who’ve had acupuncture before, but more commonly after 2 to 3 treatments, which can be as often as every other day.


My client Emily B’s story:

“I was due to have my baby just before Christmas, but nothing seemed to be happening. After an examination by a senior midwife I was told that the birth was still a long way off (around 2 weeks) and the baby had not engaged. I was really hoping to have Christmas at home with my 3- year-old twins if possible and went to see Sophie. After seeing her for an hour I felt very relaxed and went home. It was amazing, I started to feel contractions pretty soon after and that night I went into labour. I had a very easy labour and my beautiful baby Jasper was born in the morning – 10 hours after I had seen Sophie and just before Christmas, so I was lucky enough to be at home with my new baby and my twins on Christmas day. It was a wonderful experience and I am very grateful to Sophie and her magic needles for making it happen. I can’t recommend her enough to anyone who is considering it.”


I love treating women who are preparing to give birth, helping to get things moving naturally is an extremely rewarding experience.


Sophie Webb      Acupuncture


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