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Accupuncture to bring on labour

(12 Posts)
Mogama Fri 19-Aug-11 12:34:40

Hi there. A quick question from a new poster/longtime lurker who would be very grateful for words of wisdom.

I'm 38 weeks with my first and have been told that, as I have high blood pressure, I will not be allowed to go overdue but will be induced round about my due date if things haven't happened before then. The baby wasn't engaged two weeks ago and still seems to be moving about quite freely so I'm resigning myself to the liklihood of induction, but, of course, I would really like to avoid it if at all possible.... I've started thinking about what I can do and one of them is accupuncture - I've heard some mixed things, but if is likely to do more good than pineapple, curry etc, then I figure it has to be worth a go! Does anyone have any actual experience with using it to bring on labour?

Thanks very much in advance

WaspsAnkles Fri 19-Aug-11 14:52:28

Hi Mogama
No definate results here yet, but am 37+2 and had my second accupuncture this morning. Since the first session last week baby has moved down and is now engaged and cervix has shortened and softened. Obviously this might have happened without accupuncture as well, but my MW is now thinking we won't go through with all 4 planned sessions, as it looks like he'll be arriving early anyway.
I had accupuncture against morning sickness at the beginning as well, which helped me lots, so am inclined to say there is something in the whole thing even though I am usually a bit sceptical.
I'd give it a go, as it can definately not do you any harm. But be warned - I have been getting quite strong Braxton Hicks after the sessions, which aren't really comfortable, to be honest.

neverlookback Fri 19-Aug-11 15:29:13

hmm im due tomorrow and have previously had some acupuncture at the midwife unit for spd, i rang them yesterday to ask about having some to bring on labour and she told me that there is absoloutly no proof that it works, she said that they used to believe there were some points that could stimulate labour but that it has since been thrown out??? she said if i was really desperate next week they could have a go but basically told me i was wasting my time?

Its one thing ive not tried being late twice before i am keen to get this one out asap!! ive eaten a whole pinapple today and my mouth has been stripped!! got some crampy feelings and lots of BH but i think it just might be the pinapple working its way through!!

good luck if you do have some

FlipFantasia Fri 19-Aug-11 16:26:23

I had acupuncture with DS and it was great...unfortunately it didn't bring on labour (went to 42 weeks) but found it beneficial in terms of feeling relaxed, feeling like I was doing things to help etc. It was also offered for free at my hospital, at the maternity day unit.

Another thing to try could be evening primrose capsules - have heard they can help (even think some women smear the oil up their fanjos but didn't try that myself!).

boysenberry Fri 19-Aug-11 16:52:14

Hi, I have never posted here before but I have experience of acupuncture to bring on labour. I went to 42 weeks with DD and had acupuncture regularly from 18 weeks. I had 4 sessions specifically to bring on labour and the fourth was intense to say the least! I went into labour 4-5 hours after that and was in the hospital at the time ready for induction. I had a quick labour, 3 hours in total with no time for pain relief. The midwives were very surprised that I dilated so quickly. The baby was not fully engaged until around the time I went into labour so I really thought I'd be medically induced. I hope this helps, I had zero success with curry, raspberry leaf tea or the pineapple a day I ate!!

Neverlandpirate Fri 19-Aug-11 16:58:52

I ha two sessions of acupuncture at week 39 and 40 to try and start labour as I really wanted a home birth and was told I only had to 41 wk to stay at home.

The acupuncture for me did nothing at all, but I was then told about reflexology instead. I tried this with qualified reflexologist and 3 hr after session I was in labour!

It was also a lot less painful to have reflexology than acupuncture Whig I found really sore.

Neverlandpirate Fri 19-Aug-11 17:00:04

Sorry about typos- stupid stubby fingers on iPhone! blush

Mogama Fri 19-Aug-11 18:45:42

Thanks very much for this information. It seems that it may or may not work (which is basically what my midwife said when I asked her this afternoon). I figure that it's got to be worth a go though and it's good to know that some of you have had success with it! I'll also see if the place near me offers reflexology (after the talk on induction I had from my midwife, I'm willing to give anything a shot to avoid it!).

lindy100 Fri 19-Aug-11 19:10:26

I've got a reflexology session booked for tomorrow - the day before edd, and I'm hoping it'll do something - and like someone else said, if it doesn't bring on labour, at least it'll be relaxing.

Good luck!

boysenberry Fri 19-Aug-11 21:10:16

Good luck!! I did have quite a few acupuncture sessions so maybe that's why it worked for me. Also my practitioner was very experienced in the area and was really confident that it would work. I have a friend that also had the same success and her baby was breech so she was delighted to have avoided a section. Reflexology sounds interesting too. Hope it goes well for you!

minimuffin Fri 19-Aug-11 21:35:14

Hi - I have had acupuncture specifically to bring on labour, twice, and went into labour within 12 hours both times. Either it would have happened anyway or it works. First time was with first baby - I was 10 days overdue and planning birth at a birth centre so like you OP i was keen to avoid induction. Had had acupuncture around my due date but didn't ask for her to try to bring on labour as it was just before Christmas and I wasn't ready emotionally - too much going on. Anyway second session, with different lady, I was ready to bring it on so I asked her to see what she could do. She put in the needles then attached my tens machine to them and sent gentle electrical pulses through the needles. It wasn't comfortable or pleasant but not too painful either. Took about an hour. I had had literally no signs of labour being imminent up until that point. When she left the house I went to the loo and had had a show. Knew labour was starting shortly afterwards. Had gentle contractions then pain started around midnight - DS1 born at 7.30 the next morning. Very straightforward labour and birth.

Had it again 3 months ago! I was 5 days overdue and thought my waters had gone. Had a homebirth planned this time. Knew I'd have to go into hosp within 48 hours to check if waters had gone, and that they'd probably keep me in and induce me so decided it was worth giving acupuncture another shot with 24 hours to go before hosp appointment. Had the same acupuncturist as with DS1, same thing, some points were really painful. That was at 3pm and at 3am following morning I woke up and felt labour starting. DS3 was born at midday after a slightly less straightforward labour and birth, but all was fine.

I would give it a try but be clear with the acupuncturist about what you want to achieve. Mine wouldn't actually try to bring on labour unless you were at or after your due date - she was an independent midwife too so I felt very confident about asking her to do it.

LynetteScavo Fri 19-Aug-11 21:38:39

I tried acupuncture at 40+9 and went into labor exactly 24 hours later.

No idea if it was anything to do with the acupuncture or not.

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