Cervical Ripening/Birth Preparation
Also called ‘pre birth acupuncture’, cervical ripening is performed weekly from 37 weeks until the birth. Cervical ripening helps prepare the body for labour and in studies has been shown to:
- Encourage optimal positioning of the baby for birth, by turning unfavorable or posterior presentation
- Decrease the need for medical inductions (such as oxytocin)
- Reduce cesarean rates
- Reduce need for pain medication and/or epidurals
- Decrease labor times, especially in first time mothers
- Improve overall birth experience by addressing anxiety and supporting emotional and physical well being leading up to the birth.
Acupuncture inductions are used to stimulate or induce labour contractions and are generally performed 1-4 days prior to a medical induction. In many cases, an acupuncture induction can prevent the need for more medical intervention. As with any form of induction, acupuncture inductions should not be performed unless there is medical evidence to suggest one is needed.
A full-term pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. Preterm labor occurs when contractions begin to open your cervix before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Acupuncture can reduce uterine contractions and prevent preterm labour.