Pre Birth Acupuncture (Guest Post by Peyton Theodore, L.Ac., MTCM, BBCI)
Pre birth acupuncture is acupuncture that is administered when a woman reaches full term, or 37 weeks. The focus of the acupuncture treatments is to prepare a woman for birth - both physically and emotionally, and to promote a healthy, natural labor and birth.
From a physical perspective, would you choose a shorter, less painful labor, with less need for intervention, if you could?
Research shows the physical benefits of pre birth acupuncture include:Lessened need for interventions, including epidural, C-section, medical induction. ¹ ² Cervical ripening. ³ Shorter duration of active labor. 4
From a Traditional Chinese Medical perspective, acupuncture works to open and balance the meridians coursing the uterus, cervix, hips, and pelvic area. Specific points are chosen to help create optimal conditions for birth; and assist in opening up the Qi (vital life force) & blood flowing between mother and baby, releasing any blockages (physical and emotional), strengthening the mother's energy, calming the nervous system, and building reserves for birth and the postpartum period.
From an emotional perspective, the time period before birth can bring up an array of emotions fear, feeling overwhelmed, and exhaustion. Emotional health is always addressed in Traditional Chinese Medicine and if not addressed, is believed to lead to possible birth complications.
To help balance and release emotions, acupuncture points are selected for the individual's needs on the following meridians:
Kidney/Urinary Bladder -- Fear, Lack of Willpower
Spleen/Stomach -- Worrying, Excessive Thinking
Liver/Gallbladder -- Stress, Anger or Irritability
Lung/Large Intestine -- Grief, Withdrawl
Heart/Small Intestine -- Sadness, Lack of Vitality
Pre Birth Acupuncture offers an opportunity for a mother to maximize her potential for success during one of the most profound experiences of her life, to connect with her baby before this transition, and to feeling centered and peaceful...all of which will support labor and delivery.
Recommended Pre Birth Acupuncture includes 2 treatments per week from 37-39 weeks and 3 treatments per week from 40-42 weeks.
Peyton Theodore, L.Ac., MTCM, BBCI Peyton is a California State Licensed Acupuncturist, Health Coach, Childbirth Educator, Reiki Master, & Certified Meditation Teacher. She specializes in Obstetric Acupuncture at Cardiff Acupuncture in Solana Beach, California. For more information visit www.cardiffacupuncture.com
1. Acupuncture in the management of pain in labor. 2002 Skilnand E, Fossen D, Heiberg E. Source Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, County Hospital of Oestfold, Fredrikstad, Norway.
2. Acupuncture as pain relief during delivery: a randomized controlled trial. 2009 Borup L, Wurlitzer W, Hedegaard M, Kesmodel US, Hvidman L.
3. Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labor at term -- a randomized controlled trial. 2001 Rabl M, Ahner R, Bitschnau M, Zeisler H, Husslein P.
4. Acupuncture administered after spontaneous rupture of membranes at term significantly reduces the length of birth and use of oxytocin. A randomized controlled trial. 2006 Gaudernack LC, Forbord S, Hole E.
5. The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2006 Betts, Debra.