01 July 2011

Prebirth acupuncture - Secret to birth preparation

If you know anyone who's pregnant, or likely to be pregnant in the next few years, please do them a favour and pass this little gem on.

Women are now discovering the benefits of acupuncture in preparing for the birth of their baby, and the more they know the better.

During pregnancy, we women are overloaded with information. Everyone wants to do what’s best for their unborn baby and we do everything we can to give our babies the best start in life, from taking a multitude of vitamins, exercising, and avoiding shell fish, alfalfa and soft serve ice cream! We do classes and yoga, and we read book upon book about pregnancy, birth and settling.

Pre-birth acupuncture is one of the best things you can do to prepare your body and mind for the birthing experience.  A series of weekly acupuncture treatments, from about 36 weeks onwards, prepares your body naturally for labour.

Pre-birth acupuncture can:
  • Loosen tendons and ligaments in the pelvic area to provide an easier passage for bub
  • Ripen the cervix (helps to thin and dilate the cervix in the final weeks)
  • Promote relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety
  • Boost your energy
  • Aid a quicker post birth recovery

Basically what this means is that by preparing your body naturally for labour in the final weeks, you are more likely to go into spontaneous labour, and have a more efficient birth.

If you do have to be induced, your body tends to respond quicker and better after having done this preparation.

All the acupuncture points are located on the extremities (none near the belly) and a very gentle technique is used.  Women really enjoy the time to relax and take some ‘me time’ before the big arrival.

We can also address any other issues such as muscular pain, heartburn, swelling, anxiety over the birth etc.

Feedback from midwives in New Zealand suggests that pre-birth acupuncture can:
  • Reduce time in labour by average of 2 hours
  • Reduce the chance of medical intervention (induction, epidurals, ventouse and emergency caesarean deliveries)
  • Increase likelihood of normal vaginal delivery

I generally show women a couple of points in the final week of treatment so they can continue the preparation with acupressure at home. There are so many benefits for mothers and babies by being properly prepared for birth.

A lot of women come in to see us in the clinic when they are 40+ weeks and want to use acupuncture to naturally induce their baby.  From my experience, these ‘induction’ acupuncture treatments have a higher success rate if you've done the prebirth acupuncture as preparation.

I personally really enjoy sharing this special time with mothers and playing a small part in the joy of bringing new life into the world. I love seeing women take charge of their own well-being and take an active role in preparing their bodies to birth their baby as best they can.

To find out more about acupuncture for pre-birth preparation or any problems in pregnancy,

This post is brought to you by Belinda Boylan, acupuncturist and Chinese medicine herbalist at Ocean Acupuncture in Curl Curl on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

Ocean Acupuncture is a natural medicine centre of independent health practitioners. The views expressed in this blog are the author's only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the other Ocean Acupuncture practitioners.
The information presented in this blog, and on the Ocean Acupuncture website, is for interest and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for health or medical information or advice. For health or medical advice, please consult your health professional.

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