Pre-birth acupuncture treatments are optimally commenced at 36 or 37 weeks and go through until birth. These treatments are designed to prepare the body and the baby for an efficient and smooth labour.
Focusing on ripening the cervix, maintaining the most optimal presentation of the baby for labour and promoting the energy and stamina needed for birth itself, these treatments promote the flow of energy and blood throughout the uterus and the body.
Each treatment is designed for the individual and can therefore focus on what is needed for each individual patient at the time. It is also a fabulous opportunity to help the patient mentally prepare for the labour that is to come.
Small observational studies have shown that women who receive pre-birth acupuncture treatments have a reduced rate of medical interventions, including medical induction and caesarean sections.
It is also interesting to note that pre-birth acupuncture also prepares the body for recovery post-natally.
In China, it is custom for a new mother to rest for 30-40 days. Staying indoors and restricting hair or body washing might not gel well with many westerners (or Chinese for that matter) however there are some key points to take away from this ancient custom. Chinese medicine has a number of treatments and suggestions to assist in recovery of labour and in nourishing the mother in the first few weeks post-partum. Diet, herbs and acupucnure can all play a role at this time.