In addition to relieving the ailments of pregnancy and relaxing mothers, acupuncture prepares the body to avoid medical inductions and Caesarean sections. In the delivery room, she can shorten labor by 4 to 6 hours. Explanations.
Since 2002, LaSalle Hospital in Montreal has had an obstetric acupuncture on-call service. Currently, other hospitals in the same region are showing an interest in this type of service.
According to Jean Lévesque and Édith Charbonneau, acupuncturists specializing in pregnant women, here are the benefits of this type of Chinese medicine.
- to relieve nausea, vomiting, constipation, hemorrhoids, headaches, and migraines;
- to alleviate digestive disorders, including heartburn and gastric reflux;
- to promote sleep;
- to soothe back pain, that is related to irritation of the sciatic nerve and the pelvic region;
- to prevent the dangers of premature delivery;
- to encourage turnover of the fetus, in case of breech presentation;
- to induce labor in a natural way, in case of overdue;
- to promote relaxation of the perineum and cervix.
- to stimulate contractions;
- to promote rapid dilation of the cervix;
- to decrease cervical edema;
- counter certain decelerations of the baby’s heart.
Acupuncture and pain
Acupuncture is not intended to directly relieve pain during labor. Nevertheless, the relaxation it provides promotes the secretion of endorphins, hormones with an analgesic effect. Note: this type of therapy can be combined with epidural anesthesia, without any problem. Acupuncture is an effective alternative to drugs that risk causing malformations in the fetus.
Regularize treatments to optimize their effectiveness
In general, three acupuncture sessions are necessary to try to solve a specific health problem. In rare cases, acupuncture does not produce any results.
In order for the pregnant woman to benefit from most of the desired effects possible in view of the birth of her child, it is recommended that she visits her acupuncturist once a month until the end of the eighth month of pregnancy, and three or four times, in the ninth month. The last sessions are intended to calm anxiety, reduce fatigue and promote relaxation of the perineum and cervix. Thus, pregnant women reach term in good physical and psychological condition.
If necessary, and if the protocol of the hospital of his choice allows it, the acupuncturist can accompany him during his delivery. Interesting fact: in the country, a growing number of hospitals are open to this type of practice.
Choosing your acupuncturist: it’s important!
Do not hesitate to check and make sure that your acupuncturist is part of a recognized professional association, such as the Ordre des acupunctures du Québec. Also, look for someone who specializes in pregnant women. Indeed, some acupuncture points can trigger labor before the expected date of delivery.
Studies conclude that acupuncture is a safe procedure when performed by properly trained professionals. However, redness may appear around the stitches that have been pricked. Don’t hesitate to tell your acupuncturist.