Acupuncture ‘induction’ is a very effective treatment which can help initiate labour naturally for women who have reached or ‘gone over’ their due dates.
The acupuncturist will choose acupuncture points which help the cervix to ripen, improve the baby’s position deep in the pelvis and most importantly help women relax and release the cascade of hormones which facilitate smooth and efficient, natural contractions.
If the treatment is successful labour can begin within a few hours or 12-24 hours after treatment. Sometimes a second treatment might be required.
Labour which is started with acupuncture works by gently nudging a woman to release her own oxytocin and prostaglandins. Contractions are therefore more likely to build up in a way that women are able to manage and stay in control of.
In contrast, artificial induction of labour or ‘medical induction’ can often lead to contractions which are too intense, painful and difficult to cope with. This in turn increases the risk of a cascade of further intervention.