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Acupuncture Can Induce Labor and Prepare Your Body to Give Birth

pregnant acupuncture
Ease Your Pain with Natural Pain Management Techniques

Popping a pill isn't the only way to relieve pain. These natural pain management techniques can help you feel better without any unpleasant side effects.

Yoga

Yoga combines exercise with meditation and offers benefits for both your mind and body. The ancient discipline can help ease muscle tension, reduce pain caused by arthritis and joint, back, and neck pain problems. Yoga can be practiced virtually anywhere. You only need a yoga mat and a little floor space to perform most of the poses.

Massage

Working out the kinks in your muscles not only relieves tightness and knots, but also increases the levels of natural painkillers, such as serotonin and endorphins. Massage can also help reduce inflammation and improve your mood and sense of well-being.

Herbal Remedies

Acupuncture practitioners have used herbal remedies, in addition to acupuncture treatments, to treat pain for hundreds of years. Herbs like dipsacus are helpful for treating back pain, while eucommia decreases inflammation that can cause pain. Leaves, roots, flowers and stems of plants are use to create herbal powders, capsules and teas.

Tai Chi

You might not think that exercise would be the best choice if you are in pain, but performing tai chi can lessen your pain. The martial art uses slow, rhythmic motions that won't strain your body and can help reduce musculoskeletal pain.

Acupuncture has been used for centuries to relieve pain and improve the symptoms of conditions and diseases ranging from high blood pressure to migraines. The ancient medical practice also offers an excellent alternative to drugs used to induce labor.

Starting the Birthing Process Naturally

Acupuncture treatment is used to relieve blockages of Qi, a life force that runs through your body. When Qi is blocked, you may experience pain and other symptoms that can affect your health. Acupuncture is an effective tool in inducing labor because it helps energy move freely through your body to facilitate the birthing process.

Sometimes, the onset of labor can be delayed because the unborn baby is not in the relaxed Yin state. Acupuncture treatment can help rouse him or her and encourage more movement by helping the baby transition to the more active Yang state. Some women go into labor after just one session of acupuncture, while others need three or four treatments before labor begins.

Acupuncture treatment also helps labor progress by preparing the cervix, helping it to open fully in preparation for birth and ensuring that the baby is in the optimal position for an easy birth.

Does Acupuncture Really Work?

Multiple research studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective to way to induce labor and reduce the need for a cesarean birth. Women who participated in a study published in the “Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine” delivered 21 hours sooner than women who did not receive treatment, were 20 percent more likely to labor spontaneously, and 22 percent less likely to require a cesarean section.

Acupuncture is a good choice if you would like to reduce pain during labor and delivery naturally. Swedish researchers discovered that women who took advantage of acupuncture treatment during labor were half as likely to ask for an epidural for pain relief and felt more relaxed during labor.

Electroacupuncture, a form of acupuncture that sends mild electrical currents through the acupuncture needles, can also be helpful in managing labor pain. Chinese researchers learned that acupuncture treatment helps regulate the dynorphin/k-opioid receptor system that plays a role in pain transmission.

Acupuncture Offers Other Benefits for Pregnant Women

Acupuncture offers a variety of benefits for pregnant women and can:

  • Strengthen the pelvic floor
  • Relax the cervix
  • Improve circulation
  • Eliminate blockages that occurred during pregnancy
  • Lower stress levels and tension
  • Reduce tearing and the need for an episiotomy

It can also be used to treat pregnancy-related symptoms, including:

  • Constipation
  • Preeclampsia
  • Heartburn
  • Leg cramps
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Fatigue
  • Nasal congestion
  • Swelling in the hands and sleep
  • Insomnia

Treating Post-Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy and birth take a toll on a woman's body. Since newborns require round-the-clock care, it can be difficult to find enough time to fully focus on recuperation. Acupuncture treatment helps women recover more easily from pregnancy, labor, and birth by improving fatigue, reducing mastitis and vaginal discharge, and lowering the risk of postpartum depression.

If you are pregnant and prefer a more natural way to handle labor and delivery, we can help. Call us to schedule a consultation to learn how acupuncture treatment can make the birth process quicker, easier, and less painful.

Sources:

Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for the Initiation of Labor in Nulliparous Women, 08/10/06

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16966110

British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology: Acupuncture Treatment During Labour , 06/02

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12118641

WebMd: Can Labor Be Induced Naturally?

http://www.webmd.com/baby/inducing-labor-naturally-can-it-be-done#1

Acupuncture in Medicine: Electroacupuncture Relieves Labour Pain and Influences the Spinal Dynorphin/k-Opioid Receptor System in Rats, 01/05/16

http://aim.bmj.com/content/34/3/223.abstract?sid=b008aa4c-afeb-4812-bd1a-b0d61c5c2687

Prevention: 8 Surprising (And Natural) Ways to Beat Pain, 06/09/12

http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/pain-management-natural-remedies-ease-aches

AARP: Drug-Free Remedies for Chronic Pain, 01/09

http://www.aarp.org/health/alternative-medicine/info-11-2008/drug_free_remedies_chronic_pain.html