"This is a story we like to tell ourselves in the night when the fire seems nothing but dying embers winking out and the labor is too hard and goes on too long... When we are afraid, when it hurts too much, we like to tell ourselves stories of power. How we lost it, how we can reclaim it. We tell ourselves the cries we hear may be those of labor; the pain we feel may yet be that of birth." -Starhawk, poet, teacher, wise woman
Acupuncture for Labor Induction
Acupuncture for labor induction is safe for both the mother and baby as long as there are no serious complications with the pregnancy. It is most effective starting the week before the baby's due date. Several studies show a success rate of over 70%. The most common Western method of labor induction uses synthetic Pitocin to jump- start labor. Pitocin will start contractions whether the mother's body is ready or not. Because the mother's body is not always ready, labor fails to progress 40-50% of the time, starting a chain of events that can lead to a caesarean section. Synthetic Pitocin also has other serious risks, including fetal distress and cardiac arrhythmia. In addition, most women find that Pitocin causes very intense and painful labor.
Labor induction with acupuncture stimulates uterine contractions and softens the cervix. The treatment starts a hormonal process which stimulates the mother's body to release prostaglandins and oxytocin, the natural hormone that Pitocin mimics. As a result, it is a much more gentle and natural process than Western induction. Because of this, the effects are not instantaneous, as they are in Western induction. Depending on how far into pre-labor the mother's body is determines the number of treatments needed. Some women only need one or two treatments, while others may need several treatments for real labor to start.
Pain Management during Labor
If your doctor or midwife allows acupuncture during labor, Kali is available for acupressure or acupuncture treatments either at your home or at the hospital or birthing center. Acupuncture during labor helps with relaxation, stimulates the mother's body to release prostaglandins and oxytocin to increase uterine contractions, helps the cervix to dilate, and relieves anxiety and pain associated with labor.
According to the American Journal for Obstetrics and Gynecology, several clinical trials show that acupuncture significantly reduces pain associated with childbirth. In the 496 women who received acupuncture during labor, there was a 30% decrease in the need for pain-relieving interventions, including epidurals, than in women not receiving acupuncture. Among the women who received acupuncture, 86% said that they would use acupuncture for labor pain management again.
Post Partum Treatment
In addition to aiding the body to return to a state of balance and optimal reproductive health, some of the postpartum conditions that acupuncture can help alleviate are:
* postpartum depression and "baby blues" * decreased energy and vitality * hormonal imbalances * persistent bleeding * lactation problems * mastitis * abdominal pain * night sweats
Eugene Holistic Medicine
3225 Willamette Street, Suite 3 Eugene Oregon 97405
for appointments please schedule online or call/text 541.600.6252 Tollfree fax 855.778.5828