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Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese are which has been used for centuries to heal ailments and help alleviate pain. But you may not be aware that it can also be great for helping pregnant women, too. Studies have shown that acupuncture can be sued to make the neck of the womb more supple, so that the baby can rest in the right position for a natural birth, and it can also be used to trigger contractions in overdue births. While all women aim for a short and easy labour, it can’t be guaranteed. However, consulting an acupuncturist could make you one step close to that dream, as sessions a few weeks prior to your due date could help prepare the cervix and make it more supple.
Acupuncture works by inserting fine needles into various pressure points on the body – depending on your ailment, the needles will be placed in certain areas. In terms of pregnancy, the needles are inserted in the soles of your feet and the lower abdomen, so as to relax the nervous system and your muscles. In addition to helping your body prepare for the labour, it also relaxes you immediately and throughout the last few weeks of your pregnancy.
If your baby is overdue, you may find acupuncture beneficial. Your doctor or midwife will check the position of the baby at around eight months, and if the baby’s head is pointing downwards you can go ahead with a natural birth. However, if the baby is facing upwards in the breech position, acupuncture could be great for stimulating the areas of the body responsible for moving the baby into the right position. It’s suggested that you opt for two sessions a few days apart at around 33 weeks – instead of needles, moxibustion is advised. Likewise, if the baby seems a little too comfortable and is overdue, this treatment could speed the process along. The aim of this form of acupuncture is to provide energy and movement to the body, and many women find contractions start after this type of session.