LABOR INDUCTION WITH ACUPUNCTURE
I heartily welcome you to the Zhou Wellness Clinic blog. After the successful launch of our clinic in August, I thought it was time to continue sharing more acupuncture tidbits for your overall wellness. This time we will discuss labor induction with acupuncture.
You see, sometimes, you hear pregnant women say…
“I am a couple of days past my due date. This experience has dashed my hope of successful delivery because I never saw it coming. I cannot even sleep well at night because I cannot stop thinking about my condition. Now, my health specialist is considering inducing my labor. Well, a friend told me to use acupuncture for that and I am wondering if that is okay because I have never tried it before.”
If you are currently facing this challenge or you know someone who is, you have nothing to worry about because I will look at labor induction with acupuncture in this piece. As you probably know, labor induction means artificially stimulating the uterus to kick-start labor. For several years now, women have used other means to induce labor in the United States, but little or nothing is being said about how you can achieve this goal using traditional Chinese medicine. So, in this article, you will learn all that and more.
Why Should Labor Be induced?
Indeed, you would probably be wondering, “Why would anyone want to induce their labor when it can happen naturally?” The thing is that there are certain circumstances that lead to it. Basically, your health care provider will often tell you to go for it when he or she foresees that you are putting your life or that of your baby at risk by leaving your baby to stay a little longer. For example, it could be a result of kidney disease, high blood pressure or obesity, little amniotic fluid surrounding the uterus, infection in the uterus, developing diabetes during pregnancy, etc.
If you experience any of the aforementioned health conditions, waiting for labor to start naturally is not an option. That’s because it is tantamount to endangering your life or that of your unborn baby. Sometimes, some pregnant women experience a weird situation where there are no signs of labor at the expiration of the third trimester. This is obviously a red flag, so your doctor will have to resort to labor induction in that case; you are strongly advised to start labor induction after two weeks in such scenarios.
For some insights, pregnancy is often considered full-term at 37- 39 weeks, but pregnancy usually lasts for 40 weeks from the last menstrual period to your due date. However, when your pregnancy lasts beyond 42 weeks, the amniotic fluid may begin to reduce, thereby exposing you to all manner of complications. Plus, the placenta, which supplies your baby food and oxygen through the umbilical cord, may stop working properly.
Furthermore, have you ever heard of elective induction? Well, elective induction is a situation where labor is initiated without any health concerns. Women often opt for this when they have a history of rapid deliveries or they try to avert unattended deliveries. For expectant women who live far away from health facilities, they also opt for elective induction. However, you should only settle for elective induction when your baby’s gestational age is about 39 weeks or older. This is to reduce any risk of health to your baby.
Can I use Acupuncture to Induce Labor?
Yes, you can use labor induction with Acupuncture to induce labor. The good thing is that it is a safe technique, so you have absolutely nothing to worry about. However, you shouldn’t perform this process by yourself; ensure that a licensed specialist performs it. At Zhou Wellness Clinic, we use Seirin acupuncture needles to perform the treatment. With these special sterile needles, the treatment becomes smooth and pain-free. Sometimes, we also combine acupuncture and moxibustion to quickly position the baby in the right delivery position.
Tips of Using Acupuncture for Labor Induction
To use Chinese medicine for labor induction, you need to identify the acupoints. Well, I normally recommend six major acupoints for that. Although there may be other acupoints, those six acupoints give the more desirable result. Keep in mind that acupressure works perfectly well and the aim of this process is to promote relaxation and initiate labor.
- SP6: This point is just above the ankle on the backside of the lower calf. You can use the index finger to apply acupressure on that point for a few seconds. Why you should focus on this point is that it shortens the length of labor and significantly reduces pain.
- LI4: Well, this is another acupoint you should pay attention to in order to initiate labor. It is somewhere between the back of the hand or better still, between the thumb and index finger. We believe that this point affects the large intestine.
- BL32: Here comes a strategic acupoint located in the dimple of your buttocks. It is the midway between the lower spine and the dimple of the buttocks. When you press it, it produces tingling numbness.
- BL60: Just above the Achilles heel, you will find the BL60. It is just behind the ankle. Similar to SP6, it helps in reducing pain during labor.
- GB21: Looking above the collar bone and in the middle of the shoulder muscle is the location of BG21. You should use your index finger and thumb while applying the pressure. Plus, you should massage it with downward pressure for a few seconds.
- BL67: When you look closely at the edge of the nail, you will find BL67 just outside of the end of the pinky toe. You should pinch the toe gently by applying pressure using your index finger and thumb. More importantly, you should massage it gently.
To conclude this article, it is noteworthy that people have been practicing acupuncture for labor induction for over 2000 years – years before you and I were born! In addition to that, my mother practiced it for decades and so have I. Yes, it works. Still, several studies have been conducted in the past to support its efficacy. Sure, I suggest inducing labor with acupuncture when it is about two weeks after the due date.
When you massage those points, it considerably reduces your pain. Moreover, I encourage women who have a history of bleeding or pregnancy complications to consult their doctor or midwives before applying acupuncture for labor induction. One thing I can guarantee you is that this traditional Chinese technique is safe. That’s because it is a holistic and natural treatment option. Do you found this article useful and want to know more? If so, contact Zhou Wellness Clinic now!