Acupressure and Acupuncture for Labor

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Here at Taproot Doula we love and strongly advocate regular acupuncture treatments during pregnancy. This week the lovely and talented acupuncturist Monica shares the art and science of the benefits of acupressure and acupuncture during the Childbearing Year.

ACUPRESSURE has been shown to help during labor in the following ways:

  • Decreases pain
  • Relieves a cervical lip
  • Promotes efficient labor & effective pushing
  • Helps to re-position a baby in a breech or posterior position
  • Reduces nausea and vomiting
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Support the milk to come in fully after birth

Benefits of Pre-Birth Acupuncture (weekly starting at week 36):

Acupuncture Shortens Labor

Research has demonstrated that the mean duration of labor in a group of women giving birth for the first time was reduced from 8 hours & 2 minutes in the control group (70 women) to 6 hours and 36 minutes in the group of women (70) who had received pre-birth acupuncture.

Acupuncture Decreases Medical Intervention

Data on 169 women was gathered by 14 midwives as part of their midwifery practice in New Zealand.  It found that when comparing all caregivers (midwives, general practitioners, and specialists) to those women who received pre-birth acupuncture there was:

  • An overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions (for women having their 1st baby there was a 43% reduction)
  • A 31% reduction in the epidural rate
  • A 32% reduction in cesarean delivery
  • A 9% increase in vaginal births

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Acupuncture Turns Breech/Posterior Babies

Breech babies are ideally treated between 34-36 weeks gestation.  This generally includes an acupuncture treatment with women being shown how to continue treatment at home with a moxa stick (an herb that has been shaped into a cigar-like stick and held over acupuncture points).

Acupuncture for Natural Induction

Acupuncture treatments can stimulate labor in a woman who is past her due date.  Research has shown that acupuncture takes from 3 to 60 hours to initiate contractions.  At least two treatments are recommended.

Note: I received regular acupuncture during pregnancy and know that it helped facilitate my stubborn breech baby (at 38 weeks) to flip head-down. Acupuncture also helped me to achieve a short, efficient labor and a birth on my due-date!    ~ Kate

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Monica

Monica is an acupuncturist who specializes in pregnancy & childbirth in Southeastern Michigan.  She is also a birth & postpartum doula. To schedule an appointment with Monica, call her at 248-737-7126 at Michigan Associates of Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine. Visit her practice’s website at www.acupunctureinmichigan.com.

Monica@acupunctureinmichigan.com

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