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Acupuncture to help stimulate labour?

(13 Posts)
DuckWaddle Tue 25-Sep-12 22:16:29

Has anyone had any experience in using acupuncture to help stimulate labour? Now I'm overdue I'm thinking about it but have never had acupuncture before and don't know anyone who's used it to assist with labour.

Rosebud05 Tue 25-Sep-12 22:23:20

Yes, I did very successfully. You need to be treated by an acupuncturist who specialised in pregnancy. I have a recommendation for NE London if you're anywhere near there?

PollyIndia Tue 25-Sep-12 22:38:22

Rosebud05 I'd like that recommendation please!

paperclips Tue 25-Sep-12 22:39:35

There isn't really any scientific basis to acupuncture. There was an experiment where they got some "trained" acupuncturists and some medical students to treat people, and the "proper" acupuncturists got no better results. This suggests maybe its mostly placebo effect.

There are always people with anecdotes of it working, but that's not proper evidence.

Of course, do what you want, but its a lot of money to spend.

But at least its not as bad as homeopathy, that really is nonsense woo woo quackery.

minimuffin Tue 25-Sep-12 22:54:10

I had it to induce DS1 (at 10 days overdue, I also had a sweep same day) and DS3 (at 5 days overdue, no sweep this time, when I thought my waters might have broken the previous day and didn't want to have to go into hospital to be examined as they induce after 48 hrs if they think your waters have gone - I had planned a home birth). Both times I had acupuncture mid-afternoon and had the baby the following morning. Just saying... It hurts a bit, just to warn you. And make sure you use someone who has specific experience of treating pregnant women (sorry, I know that's stating the obvious, but if you haven't had it before there are some practitioners who specialise in this area - mine was an independent midwife too). Good luck!

crochetcircle Tue 25-Sep-12 23:02:34

I had it three times for dd1 who went two weeks over. It made no difference, I was induced! I didn't have it for dd2 and went 2 weeks over again.

It's very relaxing though, so a nice positive thing to do post dates... But don't pin your hopes on it. wink

kefybaby Tue 25-Sep-12 23:04:36

I tried it when I was 10 days overdue. DD arrived the following day. Still not sure how much the acupuncture contributed, as after all this time DD was bound to arrive soon anyway (but I was keen to try anything to avoid induction)...

HeffalumpsAndGoldenWoozles Tue 25-Sep-12 23:20:03

I've been having reflexology which is meant to work the same pressure points but without the needley bit as I am a wuss about needles had my first session at 40+1 and roughly every other day since, am now 41+1 and still very much pregnant sad Although I'm thinking I may as well carry on til the end of the week to see the course through it probably is a lot to do with the power of the mind, and I'm a bit of a sceptic however much I might be desperate to get baby out, so am sort of unsurprised nothing's happening.

Have heard people say both acupuncture & reflexology worked for them though and if you can justify the cost then there's no harm in trying (excepting that it is a bit painful!).

Rosebud05 Wed 26-Sep-12 12:20:42

Alison Courtney, who practices in Hackney and Islington, is fantastic.

carrielou2007 Wed 26-Sep-12 13:10:19

I think mine was reflexology - friend who does this and all sorts of other treatments. She told md about the points on the foot/ankle sorry can't remember exz tag now. She point blZnk refused until I was a week I over and warned me to have everything ready as I WOULD go into labour. Nothing. She did thd same at 10 days over but still nothing. Ds was induced just as his nib did had been!!

I will say that u did everything I could to. To g on labour with both dc from 40 weeks onwards and was open to anything but for me nothing would shift them!!

BionicEmu Wed 26-Sep-12 14:31:04

I have experience of this from a different point of view, if it helps.

I suffer from chronic back and pelvic pain, but can't have my usual trigger point and nerve block injections as I am pregnant. My pain management consultant recommended that I try acupuncture instead. However, she said there have been studies done that supposedly show that acupuncture brings on labour, so it is not recommended in pregnant women - the hospital's acupuncture practitioners will not go against guidelines, so the consultant herself is doing my acupuncture.

She said that in her medical opinion, acupuncture in the last few weeks of pregnancy doesn't bring on labour, it's just that the likelihood of you going into labour is v high at that time anyway.

She also said that in her opinion and experience, in cases where ladies have been receiving acupuncture while pregnant but not yet full term, it's not the acupuncture that brings on labour, but the extreme amount of pain that they are in that has forced them to try the acupuncture in the first place.

As far as acupuncture being "woo" goes, perhaps it is when it comes to things like bringing on labour. But it is truly helping with my back pain. Fair enough, it's not touching the grinding bone/disc pain, but it's definitely helping with my muscle spasms.

So I guess if it's money you can do without, then where's the harm in trying, really? It might bring labour on, or labour may have always going to have started at that point, there's just no knowing.

FWIW, I don't think it hurts at all. It's a v different sensation to what I thought it would be like. Not sharp, but more a pressure, like someone pushing hard with their thumb. It's v relaxing too, I tend to have a nap while the needles are in!

DuckWaddle Thu 27-Sep-12 10:41:08

Excellent- thanks all. That's really helpful. Sounds like I should wait until I'm 41 weeks and then decide!

PollyIndia Thu 27-Sep-12 11:32:20

Thanks rosebud - if I get to 41 weeks, I'll give her a call. She is local to me

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