Induction & Acupuncture
At Gulf Coast Acupuncture and Fertility, we often have moms “to-be” coming in to ask for induction acupuncture at the end of pregnancy. They are usually between 38-40+ weeks pregnant, and they already have a medical induction with their medical provider scheduled. This type of acupuncture treatment is known as induction acupuncture.
For those not familiar, induction is a medical procedure that an obstetrician or midwife may recommend to start labor. They base their decision on your pregnancy and health; they may recommend specific medications or procedures to help soften and dilate the cervix and promote steady contractions. In addition, your provider may recommend a medical induction if you are experiencing any of the following traits: nearing 40-week gestation, infection, restricted fetal growth, low amniotic fluid, placental issues, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, or if your water has broken, but contractions still have not begun.
At Gulf Coast Acupuncture and Fertility, we recommend a series of labor preparation treatments beginning at 35 weeks in pregnancy. From 35 weeks forward, we recommend weekly acupuncture visits increasing to twice weekly after 38 weeks. We focus on preparing the body and mind for a positive birth experience during these sessions. Acupuncture works with your body to help prepare the cervix, remove painful obstructions, optimize fetal position and reduce stress. Acupuncture offers you a quiet moment to connect with your body and leaves you feeling rested and refreshed. We can also address any other issues you may be experiencing during these sessions, such as heartburn, back pain, headaches, HBP, or constipation. Acupuncture works on a cumulative level, with each session becoming more powerful. Research supports that people who have received regular acupuncture in late pregnancy tend to have shorter active labor stages and deliver closer to their due dates.
What if you have an induction scheduled in 3 days, but you’ve never had acupuncture? Is it worth trying?
Yes, acupuncture can still help. Going into labor is a complex process with factors dependent on signals from the baby, the baby’s position, your cervix, and your own mental and emotional state. Even at the end of pregnancy, acupuncture effectively encourages fetal movement. Babies struggling to find the correct position to pressure the cervix may respond quickly to a gentle acupuncture session. The cervix can tighten and stress can prevent dilation. Just a few acupuncture needles can help your body transition from fight or flight mode into a more relaxed state. Sometimes that is all a person needs to get labor started.
Many moms “to-be” begin regular acupuncture sessions at 20 weeks or the beginning of their third trimester because they enjoy getting acupuncture. Acupuncture is effective at soothing many pregnancy-related conditions and a safe way to alleviate pain, anxiety, and depression in pregnancy. An acupuncturist specializing in pregnancy will help you determine the appropriate treatment plan for you. Throughout your care, we will help provide the mental and physical support to keep you healthy and confident in you and your body’s ability to carry and deliver a beautiful, healthy baby.
Our goal is to help women feel their best throughout their journey to motherhood. Just give us a call.
Gulf Coast Acupuncture and Fertility have worked with patients of many of the best midwives, doulas, OB/GYN’s and fertility Dr’s, providing adjunct prenatal care to ensure that women feel their best during pregnancy. We would be happy to work with you at any stage of your pregnancy!