Inducing Labor Naturally with Acupuncture

by Carol Roberts, Childbirth Researcher on May 7, 2011

Ready to go into labor? Acupuncture can work. There's also another method called acupressure that works the same, but you can do it at home. Download our free guide about this natural technique. Get it now.

Think it’s time to deliver your baby, but tired of waiting? You may be able to induce labor naturally using a method like acupuncture. While nature knows best, and you may really not be ready, sometimes all your baby needs is a little push, in a manner of speaking. As such, it’s best to try and induce labor naturally. Otherwise you could injure yourself and your baby.

Why would you want to avoid using a labor-inducing drug like Pitocin? Numerous unpleasant and dangerous side effects have been reported for users of labor-inducing drugs including anaphylactic shock, postpartum hemorrhage, cardiac arrhythmia, vomiting and more. These are just the reactions in the mother; physicians aren’t even totally sure what the reactions are in the child. This is what happens when you use a drug to induce a process you just aren’t ready for.

Most methods for naturally inducing labor involve stimulating the production of certain hormones. This can include methods like engaging in sexual intercourse, de-stressing (good luck with that one, right?), and taking evening primrose oil.

One of the best methods for naturally inducing labor is acupuncture and acupressure. Many women who see acupuncturists to help them induce labor go into labor within just 48 hours (always assuming the time is ripe, or overripe). The average labor time for these women is generally about 4-5 hours. If you aren’t ready, you won’t go into labor, which makes this a safe method to use.

How can acupuncture stimulate labor?

During acupuncture, the acupuncturist will place needles in particular locations in the hands, lower legs and feet. Acupuncture stimulates the flow of energy (chi) in your body and removes blockages. It is equally accurate to view the body as a system of energy as one of matter. Sometimes the reasons for labor being delayed are energetic in their basis. Acupuncturists seek to treat these energetic problems which are often at the root of physical difficulties, like difficulties inducing labor. Acupuncture is a holistic process—it clarifies your body, mind and spirit. Whatever spiritual or religious lens you approach the experience with, you should find yourself feeling refreshed and restored. Being energized physically, mentally and spiritually could help you to overcome whatever obstacles you’re facing in your pregnancy. It isn’t unusual for trepidations and anxiety to be as much at the root of late deliveries as physiological concerns.

If you’ve never had acupuncture before and are intimidated, don’t be. Acupuncture needles are different than the types used in delivering shots. Insertion of needles is typically painless as they are very thin and the acupuncturist knows how to avoid the nerve endings. The entire process is generally very relaxing for the majority of patients.

Whether or not acupuncture induces labor for you, restoring your proper balance and flow of energy should benefit you during your pregnancy. It all depends on timing, energy and attitude. Acupuncture has a high success rate in women who are truly ready to deliver and is one of the safest natural ways to induce labor you can use!

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