Looking forward to the big day! As the birth of your new baby approaches you may already be making a number of changes; starting maternity leave, decorating the nursery, physically you may be feeling a little uncomfortable and emotionally you will be turning your thoughts to the actual birth which may fill you with excitement, nervousness, or both!
In the weeks leading up to your due date acupuncture can really help to calm the nerves, relax the body, soften the cervix (neck of the womb) and generally prepare the body for birth.
The pre birth acupuncture course starts at 37 weeks, and is given weekly until the baby is born. Many women who go over their due date worry that they may have to undergo artificial induction with vaginal pessaries or a hormone drip. They may also be offered a membrane sweep at 41 weeks to encourage labour to start. Women who go over their due date of 40 weeks can have the treatment principles with acupuncture changed to help encourage labour to start naturally without the need for any medical intervention (if they would like). Clare had induction acupuncture at 41 weeks and her baby arrived naturally without any need for artificial induction; “He arrived yesterday in a water birth with minimal complications, so the energy was definitely channelled in the right direction!”
However, some babies will decide to hang on until the very last minute, and currently induction is offered to all women who do not go into labour by 42 weeks, and is usually booked in advance. Pre-birth acupuncture can be beneficial even if your baby is induced as Anna explains, “Baby Miah held out to 42 weeks, I did have to be induced, however, my labour was fairly smooth for a first child and I had no pain relief for the delivery (second stage). I am sure this was in part down to having the (pre-birth) acupuncture…it also helps that Sally has three children and could share some of her experiences”. Anna used just a TENS machine for the first stage and told me that “the midwives said the birth was amazing without any pain relief, and what had I been doing to prepare!?”
The acupuncture points used in later pregnancy are mainly on the lower legs and arms and the needles are very fine, about the width of a hair. “I hadn’t had acupuncture before and was a little apprehensive as I am not a fan of needles, however, it was not painful at all!”
If you would like to find out more please contact Sally on 07956 367003.