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Acupuncture & Inducing Labour

Induction of labour is offered to pregnant women when it is thought the outcome will be better for the mother or her baby if the pregnancy does not continue and the baby is born. Common reasons for induction include the pregnancy going beyond the due date, pre‐term or pre‐labour rupture of the membranes, and concerns about the health of the mother or baby such as pre‐eclampsia or poor growth of the baby.

Some women look to using Acupuncture alongside conventional medical practice for induction. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points of the body while acupressure involves using the thumbs or fingers to apply pressure to specific points. Both have been used to help soften and dilate the cervix with onset of labour contractions. They may provide a way of reducing labour pain and avoiding a medical induction with other methods such as prostaglandins.

Acupuncture treatment can often facilitate the initiation of contractions. In some cases women will only require one treatment, but more commonly two or three treatments are required to sustain contractions. This will depend on how far beyond term the pregnancy is and the health and readiness of the mother and baby.

Treatment for labour induction gently moves Qi and Blood circulation, tonifying and relieving Qi energy stagnation and gently activating (though not forcefully contracting) the uterus. Acupuncture is a very safe and effective treatment to gently and naturally induce labour for overdue pregnancies.

We cannot stress how important it is to only have this treatment undertaken by a qualified Acupuncturist who is a member of the British Acupuncture Council.

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