Acupuncture as a Pre-Birth Treatment
At New Leaf Acupuncture, Dublin, we use a relaxing and gentle Cervical Ripening program, from around Week 34/35 until delivery, to assist the expectant mother prepare for labour.
Also known as pre-birth acupuncture or labour preparation, it refers to a series of soothing treatments in the final weeks of pregnancy and focuses on preparing the body – in particular, the cervix and pelvis – for labour and childbirth.
It also has the effect of reducing the number of hours spent in labour, minimising the risk of induction and harmonising the body to encourage a smooth and efficient childbirth.
The acupuncture points used are located from the knee down, rather than the abdomen.
Studies have shown that cervical ripening helps prepare the body for labour in a number of ways:
- Encourages optimal positioning of the baby for birth, by turning unfavorable or posterior presentation
- Decreases the need for medical inductions (such as oxytocin)
- Reduces cesarean rates
- Reduces need for pain medication and/or epidurals
- Decreases labor times, especially in first time mothers
- Improves overall birth experience by addressing anxiety and supporting emotional and physical well being leading up to the birth
Acupressure for Relief of Labour Pain
Pre-birth visits also provide an ideal opportunity to introduce the parents to the use of acupressure points for labour pain relief. This is a simple technique for the mother or partner to apply when needed.
Other conditions treated prior to labour
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension
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