Acupuncture for PREGNANCY IN Bristol
Pre-birth preparation with acupuncture
A course of 4-6 weekly treatments leading up to your due date can be an excellent way to prepare yourself for labour. Having worked closely with Debra Betts - a leading educator in pregnancy acupuncture - on a video project for expectant couples (see below), I became very interested in this area of treatment. Debra participated in an observational study in 2006, which showed an overall 35% reduction in number of inductions; a 31% reduction in epidural rate; a 32% reduction in emergency cesarean delivery; and a 9% increase in normal vaginal birth.
This was a relatively small study (169 women), and so shouldn't be seen as 'proof' of a positive effect for acupuncture. A recent systematic review (a rigorous research method, combining and analyzing the results of multiple studies) didn't show a clear benefit from acupuncture or acupressure in reducing cesarean rate, but acupuncture did show benefit in improving cervical readiness.
Certainly, many people find that acupuncture helps reduce stress and anxiety, which is obviously desirable leading up to giving birth. Whether or not the other apparent benefits observed in Debra's observational study (reduced inductions/epidurals/emergency cesarean delivery, and increased normal vaginal birth) will one day be replicated in large, high-quality studies, the more accepted effects of reduced stress/anxiety and improved cervical readiness make acupuncture well worth considering in the lead-up to labour. Pre-birth acupuncture is suitable for either private or low-cost sessions.
acupuncture to induce labour?
I've written a post about the use of both acupuncture and acupressure to induce labour. You can also see the courses page for details of the video course Debra Betts and I created in conjunction with the Journal of Chinese Medicine, which teaches women and their birth partners how to use acupressure for pain relief during labour, as well as techniques for a number of other situations.
Anyone who comes for 4+ pre-birth treatments can have a free copy of the Acupressure for Natural Pain Relief in Labour video course! Just ask me :)