- both low-intervention approaches and the appropriate use of technology in a thoughtful and well-considered manner
- the use of complementary therapies to prevent or treat common discomforts of labor and delivery;
- It is ideal for a mother to receive labor preparation acupuncture/acupressure/massage
- respecting the normal process of labor and birth, but recognizes the need for assistance if appropriate.
- recognizing that physical health, values and beliefs, relationships, emotional wellbeing, and spirituality all affect birth
- understanding that the experience of birth influences the mother and the baby's body, mind, and spirit on a profound life long level
Acupuncture Induction for Labor preparation
Acupuncture is a natural, gentle way to encourage the onset of labor.
Acupuncture induction is safe and effective and works harmoniously with the delicate hormonal balance of pregnancy to promote labour. It encourages a mother’s body towards a natural labor. It is a viable alternative to Western medical induction for post-term babies and well worth expectant mothers considering should they wish to avoid the possibility of medical induction Unlike induction with pitocin, which is synthetic oxytocin, acupuncture is thought to encourage the body’s own natural processes.
How Acupuncture works to induce labor
Acupuncture works by stimulating the mother’s body to ready itself for labor. Needling will encourage the body to naturally release prostaglandins to soften and ripen the cervix for labor, and oxytocin to trigger contractions. Because the body produces its own hormones, and the process in natural, the mother and child will experience a gradual, less-traumatic onset of labor.
According to an Australian study, induction acupuncture is over 88% effective (read the article and see the research). Labor typically begins between six and forty-eight hours after a treatment. A mother who is post-date should typically receive treatments every other day until labor begins.
ATMAT for Labor Preparation
Not only do women receiving ATMAT regularly throughout pregnancy have less of the discomforts common to pregnancy mentioned above, ATMAT practitioners report that their clients have quicker and easier labors.
ATMAT labor preparation treatments begin at 36 weeks.
Weekly treatments during the last few weeks of pregnancy encourage ideal alignment of the baby’s position and the mother’s pelvis improving the likelihood of an uncomplicated delivery. ATMAT tonify's the uterine muscles, allowing for better coordination during labor and after birth.
Acupressure for Pain Management during Labour
Acupressure is a safe, natural, easy-to-learn and apply technique that can significantly ease pain and reduce the length of contractions experienced during childbirth without causing any of the undesirable side-effects associated with medical analgesia.
One study at the University of North Carolina found that women who got acupuncture were more likely to go into labor without a medical "push."
Seventy percent of the women who got acupuncture went into labor on their own, compared to 50% who received standard care. The women who got acupuncture were also less likely to deliver by cesarean section -- 39% compared to 17%.
"We had almost a 50% reduction in the C-section rate," says researcher Terry Harper, MD. Harper, who now practices maternal fetal medicine in Albuquerque, says the small size of her study means more research is needed. She hopes acupuncture might one day help more women give birth vaginally.
In 2008 the Cochrane Collaboration reviewed three overseas trials of 212 women comparing acupuncture used for third trimester cervical ripening/labour induction with a placebo/no treatment or other methods.
The review of two of these trials suggested that women receiving acupuncture required less use of other induction methods compared with women receiving standard care alone.
PROTOCOL FOR INDUCTION:
Be prepared to commit to daily sessions and allow adequate time before medical induction is scheduled. Women will often progress into labour commonly after 3-5 treatments.
Induction of labour using Chinese herbal medicine
Chinese herbal medicine is perfectly safe for the purpose of induction.
The action of the herbal formulas used for induction treatment is to move and invigorate blood circulation to awaken and dislodge the foetus, descend energy, and nourish blood to help dilate the cervix.