Here at Village Remedies clinic in Balmain, we use traditional acupuncture to help prepare the body for labour. We can’t force bub to come, but we do try to create the ideal environment for them to do so when they’re ready.
Typically we like to see expecting mothers weekly from 36 weeks onwards, as the effects are accumulative. During this time we’re looking to help prepare the body by reducing stress, improving sleep, regulating digestion and relieving pain. If your body is relaxed, bub will interpret this as the world being a safe to come into.
When your doctor and/or midwife gives the all clear, we start incorporating specific acupuncture points which were traditionally used to encourage labour. These points are deliberately avoided during the main part of pregnancy because of their strong association with bringing on labour.
At full term, we want to do these treatments as often as possible to give you the best chance of going into natural labour. Getting bub to come is like bringing water to boil, we have to have the right heat and time for it. Each time we do the treatment, we’re turning up the heat by stimulating the release of the necessary hormones and relaxing the body. That’s why we recommend daily treatments from full term, to give you the best shot at reaching that boiling point before induction is needed. However, even if induction is needed, often there will be a better response to the induction process.
Acupressure can be a useful tool for turning up the heat at home to encourage labour, as well as relieving pain when labour does begin. See below for videos and a downloadable pdf of two easy points you can do yourself or have your partner massage.
At the end of the day, it’s either bub’s call when they’re ready to come, or the doctors when intervention is needed. Our job is to help create the ideal environment to encourage bub to make that call, and prepare the body for labour.