Easing Labour Pains through Acupuncture

One of the major fears first-time mothers have prior to and during pregnancy is the delivery process. Will it go smoothly? Will I need an epidural? One of the questions women ask the most is how they can better manage the pain of childbirth. People who’ve never given birth are often told they cannot imagine the intensity of the pain involved in delivery. While it is a completely unique sensation, there are ways women can prepare for and even potentially mitigate and reduce the pains of labour.

Make giving birth a positive experience

Acupuncture has been proven to be effective and reducing the intensity of a number of forms of pain, but it’s only recently that Western medicine is examining its ability to interact with and affect delivery pains. A study by a team of midwives and doctors at Sweden’s Orebro University Hospital indicated that women who received acupuncture were half as likely to request orthodox forms of pain relief such as epidurals.

Women who underwent the treatment are also more relaxed, reported the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. That relaxation is a key point in the process. As your stress decreases, your muscles relax making birth less of a strain on the body. Reducing the mental tax of childbirth can go a long way to making the process less agonising.

This practice is gaining some recognition. Midwives in the United Kingdom and some Scandinavian countries can receive additional training in acupuncture and acupressure as mothers are demanding it. Some hospitals in the United States have begun to offer the practice during labour as mothers are opting for it over anaesthetics. These other drugs may interfere with existing medication or the baby’s health, or could simply have side effects the mother wishes to avoid.


Addressing pain naturally

When dealing with the complicated process of delivering a baby, it’s important to address problems in the least intrusive way to ensure the health of mother and child. In cases where anaesthetics are inappropriate or would potentially interfere with other medication or the health of the child, acupuncture could potentially be considered during childbirth.

Each person deals with labour and its pains differently, so where acupuncture is greatly effective for one woman it may not be appropriate for another. It’s of the utmost importance that hospitals and midwifes recognise that each mother will approach her delivery differently, and that good maternal care involves customising and tailoring treatments to each body.

For more information on acupuncture from pre-conception through pregnancy, delivery and into postnatal care, speak to the experts at My Acupuncture today. With years of experience applying the practice to help with the difficulties involved in everything before, during and after childbirth, you can trust our clinic to always provide the very best service for you, your partner and your unborn child.

Dr. Peter Gu