Acupuncture is a useful treatment to prep the body for labour. It begins at 35 weeks of pregnancy and ends when the baby is delivered. If you go over the due date, additional acupuncture points can be added to help induce labour naturally.
A review published in 2010 evaluated the evidence on acupuncture for labour pain management. Ten randomized controlled trials involving 2,038 women receiving acupuncture alone, or as an adjunct to conventional analgesia, for pain relief in labor were included.
Patients reported significantly reduced pain by 4% and 6% during acupuncture treatment at 15 and 30 minutes compared with a placebo. Compared with no intervention, acupuncture reduced pain by 11% for the first 30 minutes.
In trials where acupuncture was compared with conventional analgesia, women receiving acupuncture required less analgesic drugs. No acupuncture-related adverse events were reported.
Acupuncture has been shown to reduce the duration of labour. It has also been shown to prevent having a pre-term labour. I give all my pregnant women self-care advice to show them how to reduce pain in labour using acupressure.
Li, M. Effect of preemptive electroacupuncture on pain reactions in primiparous parturients during vaginal delivery. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2019 Oct 25;44(10):752-6. doi: 10.13702/j.1000-0607.180873.