Acupuncture to Induce Labor: My Experience

image2I was starting to get worried as I approached my due date. I knew my doctor would let me only go to 41 weeks and then I would need to be medically induced. I had really want to try to do a natural delivery as much as possible, but wanted to go into it with an open mind and not ruling anything out.  I felt like being medically induced would increase my chances of wanting an epidural (because I hear Pitocin is killer and gives you longer harder contracts). But I guess the baby has to come out one way or another.  And from what I have read the once you have reached 41 weeks that there is not any benefit for the baby to stay in there and actually increases the risk of a still birth.

So I was on a mission, trying anything to get this baby out. I’ve read about things like nipple stimulation, spicy food, pedicures, sex, long walks etc., which I tried them all and yet nothing was happening.  I also came across evening primrose, castor oil and homeopathic remedies but did not try those out. But then I also read about acupuncture, which seemed interesting!

I checked with my doctor to make sure it would be safe. They gave me the ok and said that it would be worth a try and it couldn’t hurt anything. If you try this you should also check with your own ob.

When I called to make an appointment they said for  labor induction, they usually schedule one appointment and then schedule another within 48 hours of the initial. They also added that most clients end up calling and canceling the second appointment due to labor!  I was excited to hear that.

First appointment:  So 4 days over my due date, on a Friday, I went to my very first acupuncture appointments.  I sat in a heated room on a heated chair and had no idea what to expect. The acupuncturist said that normally they don’t do as intense sessions, but since we were on a time crunch and a mission, it might be a little intense. So he begun with 2 points in each foot. One of those points were in my pinky toe which were the ones to hurt the worse. Then he did a few in each of my lower legs and on my hand. The pain wasn’t really that bad.  Then you sit/lay there for about 30-45 minutes with those needles stuck in you.  After the appointment I had hope to be in labor before my next appointment in Monday.  But it wasn’t a success.
Second appointment:  At my second appointment, I was exactly 7 days over due and I was disappointed to be returning but I knew it might be a possibility. This time I had a different acupuncturist and she said that many acupuncturist have many different techniques so we won’t be doing the same points as last. This time they were all in my back!  I couldn’t see them but it felt like there were several needles on both side of my spine. The pain wasn’t bad. Once in a awhile I would feel a sensation from a needle travel through my body. At this appointment, it felt a little different so I thought maybe there’s a chance yet.
Third appointment:  I was still pregnant and still doing everything I could to go into labor naturally before my scheduled induction (which was scheduled for the next day).  This third appointment was my very last shot. The acupuncturist did more spots on my back but this time they hooked the needles up to a stimulator, which stimulated the needles to help make them more affective. At first, it felt intense, like little shock waves but my body would adapt and after about 10-15 minutes, I could hardly feel it. At that point then the acupuncturist would come back in and turn the little machine up. And she would repeat this process for about the next 30-45 minutes.image1
After all my appointments, unfortunately, I still did not go into labor naturally and had to be inducted.  Even though acupuncture did not work to help induce labor for me, I would highly recommend it!  Everyone’s different and it would be worth the a try. You have nothing to lose. Besides a few bucks. In my area, each appointment cost about $70 for an hour session. Check with the acupuncturist in your area for pricing. Let me know if acupuncture worked for you.  I would love to hear about your experience as well!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *