Acupuncture for Inducing Labor
Over the past few days, I’ve been helping out my neighbor, who’s 41 weeks pregnant and her due date was last Friday. Earlier this week, she came to me with a question: “Can acupuncture help kickstart labor?” I replied, “Absolutely!” Since not everyone might know this, I thought I’d share her story with you.
So, here’s the deal: If she didn’t have any signs of contractions by this Friday, her doctor was planning to induce labor medically. I felt a bit shocked to realize it was already Tuesday when she told me all of this! My response was enthusiastic, “Let’s give it a try!”
I paid her a visit on Tuesday evening. She seemed to be doing great and had plenty of energy for a mom with two little ones and a full-time job. No discomfort or complications, just some slight swelling in her ankles, which is pretty common in the late stages of pregnancy.
Her doctor had done an ultrasound on her and the baby on the due date to make sure everything was A-OK.
Now, here’s the exciting part: On the first day, I did acupuncture on all those magical labor-inducing points, using electric stimulation. I’m talking hands, legs, shoulders – places you usually avoid during pregnancy because they can get the labor party started. But since she was already past her due date, it was safe to go for it.
After the first session, she told me it was quite relaxing and went home. I advised her to come back the next day if contractions hadn’t kicked in.
Fast forward to the next evening, we met up again and repeated the same routine. She even let me use a bit more intense electric stimulation, but the results were pretty much the same as the day before.
At this moment what I told her was,
“Even if your baby does not like to come out until Friday, acupuncture sessions can make your labor so much easier and faster.”
You won’t believe it, but it’s true! Honestly, I wasn’t entirely sure if her baby would arrive before Friday, but I had confidence in what I had told her.
On Thursday morning, she was still carrying her little one, but it seemed like the baby had shifted lower. The mom mentioned that she had felt a tiny contraction the previous night, but it didn’t last long.
So, we went ahead and repeated our routine with a slightly longer and more intense stimulation. It was around noon on Thursday. She was contemplating whether to have a chat with her doctor about possibly waiting until the weekend. If nothing occurred by Monday, she was open to going through with the induction. I completely supported her decision because both she and her baby were in great health, and there was no need to rush things.
Then, Friday morning came around, and I suddenly noticed my husband’s phone buzzing with multiple messages, which is quite unusual for him. I was in the midst of getting the kids ready for school, so my phone was on silent.
My husband excitedly exclaimed, “Wow, the baby’s here!” Her husband had sent us a text with the wonderful news. (Such a sweet gesture!) It was one of those precious moments in my practice where I realized that acupuncture can truly make a difference.
If you weren’t aware that acupuncture had this potential, I’m delighted to share this heartwarming story with you. As a point of reference, I’ll include an article from PubMed about how acupuncture, and even acupressure, can naturally help induce labor.
If you happen to know someone who’s expecting and is on the lookout for a natural way to make their pregnancy smoother, whether it’s before labor or during the postpartum period (which sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves, even though it’s just as crucial), please do share with them that acupuncture can truly transform their entire pregnancy journey into something easier and more joyful.