Preparing for birthing?

Acupuncture treatments once a week from 37 weeks can help you prepare for birthing

In an observational study, 169 women who received prebirth acupuncture were compared to local population rates for:

  • gestation at onset of labour
  • incidence of medical induction
  • length of labour
  • use of analgesia
  • type of delivery

Debra Betts, one of the authors of the study, summarises their findings:

“In the acupuncture group comparing all caregivers (including midwives, GP’s and specialists) there was an overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions (for women having their first baby this was a 43% reduction) and a 31% reduction in the epidural rate. When comparing midwifery only care there was a 32% reduction in emergency caesarean delivery and a 9 % increase in normal vaginal births.

There was no statistical difference in the onset of early labour in those women receiving prebirth acupuncture.

Although this was a small naturalistic observation study rather than a randomised controlled study it does reflect how acupuncture was used in clinical practice. It mirrors the feedback given by midwives that prebirth acupuncture provides promising therapeutic benefits in assisting women to have normal vaginal births and suggests that a further randomized controlled study is warranted.”

Betts D, Lennox S. Acupuncture for prebirth treatment: An observational study of its use in midwifery practice. Medical acupuncture 2006 May; 17(3):17-20