Pregnancy can often be a time of information overload with advice (wanted and unwanted!) seeming to come from everyone and everywhere. As your due-date approaches, and each day you waddle just a little bit more, there are some important decisions to be made regarding your birthing options.
To Induce or Not to Induce?
When approaching this decision I advocate using the “BRAN method” (coined in Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah J Buckley, MD) to make wise, informed and unbiased choices. That is, to consider the:
and effects of doing Nothing.
Ask your healthcare providers and do your research for information you need to make the best choices for you, your baby, and your family at any step of your journey into parenthood.
It’s Your body, Your baby, Your choice!
Benefits of acupuncture are:
– Drug-free and natural approach
– Safe and effective treatment
– Comfortable, relaxing experience: most women fall asleep during a session and/or report feelings of increased wellbeing following acupuncture
-Takes advantage of natural available hormones:
-These natural childbirth hormones cross the blood-brain barrier and can provide positive feelings of euphoria and pain relief. Synthetic oxytocin (eg. syntocinon) does not do this
-Your body can self-manage contractions: your body increases and decreases the force of the uterine muscles aligned with it’s own intelligence
– Not a one-size-fits-all approach: acupuncture is mindful of your unique individual circumstances, and considers physiological, anatomical, emotional, social, and other hurdles to easy birthing
– A series of acupuncture sessions can be planned before a medical induction to allow an attempt at spontaneous labour
– Can be used alongside medical interventions such as a stretch&sweep, prostaglandins, artificial rupture of membranes (AROM), etc and may increase their effectiveness
– Can be used as routine pre-birth treatment (from about 36wks) to manage discomforts of pregnancy and to aim for an easier, more comfortable birth, bonding, attachment and recovery
– Your acupuncturist is a trained health professional who can assist with many aspects of your pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum health and wellbeing.
Remember, babies do come in their own time and healthy, normal gestational length varies. Sometimes fear surrounding the childbirth process, motherhood or parenting abilities, physical discomfort, or impatience can delay the onset of labour – especially for first time mums or when aiming for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After a C-section). Often it is simply a failure to wait!
Dr Eli Thomas (ChinMed) is an acupuncturist, herbalist, human biologist and student doula with a love for all things women’s health, pregnancy and birth <3