From week 36, your pregnancy makes the transition from the 3rd trimester into the pre-labour phase. The development of the baby is complete, and now the body’s energy is directed towards preparing the mother for childbirth. This is a very important time to have acupuncture treatment.
Pre-birth treatments help to prepare your body for labour: helping to support the ligaments and sinews as they stretch to widen the pelvis, helping to soften and ripen the cervix, helping the baby to descend into the pelvis in the optimal position, as well as boosting your energy reserves.
Pre-birth treatments start at week 36, and are then carried out weekly at week 37, 38 and 39. Depending on how the mother is doing, a week 40 treatment may be recommended, and if needed acupuncture induction can be given from your due date.
Pre-birth acupuncture is particularly helpful for posterior position, (baby’s back faces mum’s back) and posterior cervix, (where the cervical opening remains in a posterior position). The treatments will be tailored to suit the individual needs of your pregnancy and a variety of points used depending on your specific health needs.
Acupuncture can be effective for relieving the “minor discomforts” that some women experience during late pregnancy:
- Varicose veins
- Leg cramps
- Bleeding gums
- Nasal congestion
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back pain
- Symphysis pubis dysfunction
- Pelvic pain
- Swelling of hands and feet
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased anxiety
- Tiredness, lethargy or fatigue
This can be a valuable time for teaching partners acupressure techniques to use in labour.
Acupuncture induction can be discussed with your acupuncturist any time after your due date.