Labor prep and pre-birth acupuncture sometimes helps for the following reasons:
- Reduce stress hormones. Stress can cause oxytocin levels to drop and labor contractions to slow down.
- Help dilate and ripen the cervix.
- Help prepare the body for labor to start naturally.
With all of our best intentions, we have found that although we can sometimes help to hasten delivery, babies often come when they are ready.
Reduction in labor duration
Research now shows that women who receive acupuncture for 4-6 weeks before giving birth have a significantly shorter and less painful labor than those that do not. This information is based on a control study recently done at the University of Vienna in Austria. The study suggests that women who received weekly acupuncture treatments (verses a group that did not) experienced a decrease in duration of the first stage of labor. It also shows that the women without the acupuncture treatments received significantly more oxytocin during the first and second stages of labor.