Acupuncture during Pregnancy

Many women are interested in trying for a medication-free labor and delivery as well.  I always remind my patients that labor and delivery is unpredictable, and that they should not judge themselves harshly if an intervention becomes necessary.  If it is important to you to try, though, I believe preparing the body with acupuncture and learning some basic acupressure points for pain relief can increase your chances of success.  In my clinic I use specific “pre-birth” acupuncture protocols starting at week 37.  These protocols were developed by nurse midwives in Europe and New Zealand.  A 2004 observational study (Betts & Lenox) examining the effects of prebirth acupuncture found that there was a 35% reduction in the number of inductions (for women having their first baby, it was a 43% reduction) and a 31% reduction in the epidural rate.