Birth Preparation Treatments
Acupuncture birth preparation treatments are so much more than simply trying to start contractions! I recommend treatments 1-2 times weekly beginning at week 36/37. Our focus for birth preparation treatments includes:
- Optimal positioning of the baby for birth: Moxibustion treatment and/or acupuncture can help if your baby is breech or transverse and there are even acustimulation techniques to help with more minor adjustments (read more here). Many women prefer to try these options before more aggressive measures that their doctor may use.
- Treatment of physical discomforts (fatigue, insomnia, lower back or pelvic pain, swelling): When you’re pain-free and well rested, you’ll have more stamina (mentally and physically) for birth.
- Emotional Preparation: It’s very normal to feel some degree of increasing anxiety and fear leading up to birth. Our goal is increasing feelings of safety and calm in order to aid in oxytocin release. This is the hormone that gets your body ready for labor and helps things to progress more smoothly. There are acupuncture points that can help, and I’ll teach you at-home acustimulation techniques as well as some other helpful tips.
- Once the above items have been successfully addressed and ideally we know that your cervix is beginning to show signs of readiness for labor, points that may help with further cervical maturation or helping contractions to begin are stimulated.
For each of these areas, I will give you acustimulation “homework” that you can do or you can teach to your partner. Many of these points can even be used during labor to relieve pain. A 2020 Cochrane Review showed that women who used acupressure as part of their pain-management toolbox during labor may have lower rates of c-section and decreased pain.
Mothers attempting a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) are excellent candidates for these treatments and special consideration is given to their needs.
If you have a c-section scheduled, the focus during treatments is on emotional support as well as relieving aches and pains or any other pregnancy related symptoms. Since post-surgical swelling and pain are common, I will also utilize points to help with pelvic circulation and proper circulation of fluids. Ahead of your c-section, I will teach you techniques to aid in recovery.
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