The most efficient, effective and non-invasive way to use acupuncture to help with delivery is to have acupuncture treatments before giving birth. In a study by Debra Betts and S. Lennox, printed in Medical Acupuncture2006 May 17(3):17-20 and titled: Acupuncture for prebirth treatment: An observational study of its use in midwifery practice, these results were found:
Acupuncture in pre birth treatment refers to receiving a series of treatments in the final weeks of pregnancy, which prepare women for childbirth. Research has shown that pre-birth Acupuncture can assist you in:
Research shows that the use of acupuncture from the 37th week of gestation until delivery can significantly improve the experience of labor and childbirth. Points are used to ripen the cervix, to promote optimal energy and stamina for the mother, and to help position the baby in the best position for labor.
In considering using acupuncture to aid in readying a woman for delivery, stimulating contractions is not enough. It is best to help women thru natural birth by ripening the cervix. This is not just about the cervix opening up. Sometimes women have a hard cervix. It is important that the effacement of the cervix thins out and thin down. When it’s thins, it softens and it opens up. If the cervix is 3-4 cm dilated before going into labor, the mother’s body is better prepared, relaxed, open and ready to give birth naturally.
Positioning is also important as that will help with ripening the cervix. It is important that the baby’s chin is tucked down. This is a flexed head. When the head is not in a position of being flexed, this is a deflexed head. In this position, the head is 2cm larger for going through the birth canal. This is the posterior position, which creates complications in childbirth.
For more information on which way your baby is turned, go to: Spinningbabies.com
For a brochure called ‘why induction’ go to: www.aims.org.uk
For more information on the research referred to in this article and for a download of the acupressure points which are most useful for childbirth, go to http://acupressure.rhizome.net.nz, click on Pain Relief in Childbirth. Go to the right column for information and click on download the booklet.