As an acupuncturist, I often get a phone call from a soon to be mother very near, or past, her due date for an acupuncture induction treatment. They have heard from a friend that acupuncture helped them go into labor and avoid a medical induction.
Yes, acupuncture can help induce labour. However, birth preparation treatments are the best course of action. Many of my fertility clients return to the clinic at 37 weeks to start these treatments.
Birth preparation acupuncture starts at 37 weeks and weekly visits are recommended until the baby is born. These treatments help prepare the ligaments for birth, calm fear and after 38 weeks to help soften the cervix. By starting at 37 weeks we can work toward the soon to be mother to have the most efficient labour possible.
Women who receive birth preparation acupuncture often have shorter birth times than previous pregnancies, go into spontaneous birth and, if needed, respond well to induction acupuncture.
So can acupuncture help induce a pregnancy a few days before a medical induction? It can help. However the best way for your body to prepare is with birth preparation acupuncture.
Betts D (2006). The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth. East Sussex, England: The Journal of Chinese Medicine Ltd.