Preparing For Labour

During the last three to four weeks of pregnancy many women experience mixed feelings. While you are excited about meeting your baby, there may also be some apprehension or fear surrounding your upcoming labour and the life changes that parenthood will soon bring.

Acupuncture can help emotionally during this time by having a calming effect on anxiety and promoting relaxation. Physically, it can help to prepare the cervix and perineum for birthing and when appropriate, there are acupoints that can be used to stimulate contractions in the uterus and induce labour.

Note: we work closely with many doctors and midwives and are always in communication with your caregiver before stimulating an induction

 Cervical softening and ripening 

 At 37 weeks, you are considered full-term. This is the time when weekly acupuncture sessions leading up to your due date can begin. Acupuncture can help encourage the cervix to soften and ripen in order to begin preparing for labour.

These treatments may be especially useful for women who are having their first child, as it is very common for first time moms to go past their due dates, and many require inductions. It can also be helpful if there have been complications throughout your pregnancy (i.e. gestational diabetes or high blood pressure) and there have been discussions about inducing before your due date to ensure the health of your baby. Acupoints for ripening are generally on the arms and legs, and are connected to the uterus by meridians. research

Induction of labour

If your caregiver has examined your cervix and determined that it is soft and thinning - and that it is appropriate to stimulate contractions - acupuncture can be very effective at inducing labour. If a woman’s body is ready, acupuncture is a gentle and non-invasive way to ‘tip the scales’ and encourage the uterus to begin contracting. It may take one to three visits to effectively stimulate the start of labour. research

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