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Acupuncture for labor and birth preparation

Here at Taproot, we often get women coming in at the end of their pregnancy asking for labor induction with acupuncture.

Often times these patients are 40+ weeks pregnant and already have a medical induction planned with their medical provider.

What is Induction Acupuncture ?

Many women have heard that acupuncture can help facilitate labor, but acupuncture "induction" is nothing like a medical induction that triggers active labor and birth.

It is merely a type of treatment for women 40+ weeks pregnant that facilitates natural labor.

Not a medical induction.

The term induction describes the medical procedure that an obstetrician or midwife may recommend to start labor., where the women is given medications to help soften and dilate the cervix and promote steady contractions.

Patients nearing 41-42 weeks of gestation, or women whose water has broken without contractions are good candidates for induction. This is to ensure that they and their babies are safe.

Acupuncture for labor preparation is an infinitely milder procedure that does not start things along this abruptly.

So how does acupuncture help?

Acupuncture is a slow-acting, a cumulative medicine, in which each session becoming more powerful than the previous one. Therefore, we recommend a series of treatments for labor preparation beginning at 35 weeks of pregnancy. From 35 weeks onward we advise weekly acupuncture visits, and twice weekly after 38 weeks.During these sessions, we focus on preparing the body and mind for a positive birth experience.

Acupuncture works with your body to help :

  • prepare the cervix

  • remove painful obstructions

  • optimize fetal position

  • reduce stress.

If you start labor preparation acupuncture at 35 weeks and find yourself at 41 weeks still pregnant, there is a greater chance that acupuncture will be effective at starting labor than if you come in for your first session at 41 weeks.

Research supports that people who have received regular acupuncture in late pregnancy tend to have shorter active labor stages and tend to deliver closer to their due dates.

I have an induction scheduled in 3 days. I’ve never had acupuncture, is it worth trying?

Yes. Even at the end of pregnancy acupuncture is effective in encouraging fetal movement. Babies that are struggling to find the right position to put pressure on the cervix may respond quickly to a gentle acupuncture session. As the famous midwife Ina May Gaskin says, the cervix is a sphincter and stress can prevent dilation.

Just a few acupuncture needles can help your body switch from fight-or-flight mode into a more relaxed state. Sometimes that is all a person needs to get labor started.

Can I get Acupuncture throughout pregnancy?

Yes, absolutely. Here at taproot we help women from before the time of conception all throughout all 3 trimesters of pregnancy, and even beyond that. Acupuncture is effective at

soothing many pregnancy-related conditions

  • hip and back pain

  • anxiety and depression in pregnancy

  • heartburn

  • nausea

  • constipation

An acupuncturist with expertise in women's health will help you determine the appropriate treatment plan for you.


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