During the last month or so of pregnancy, acupuncture can be used to prepare the body for labor. Acupuncture is used to address emotional health such as stress, anxiety, depression, and or emotional ups and downs. It is also used to encourage the body to prepare for cervical softening (or ripening as it is also called. This is when the cervix opens up to deliver baby), and labor contractions. Acupuncture used prior to labor is said to reduce labor anxiety, pain and labor time.
If baby is breached, or in a transverse position, the use of Chinese medicine can be used to encourage baby to move to the proper position. It is encouraged to employ Chinese medicine by at least by week 36. Sometimes baby will move, but then move back. You want to allow yourself, and baby, the time for correcting and maintaining position.
Chinese medicine can also be used to induce labor. For women who are considered full term, or have gotten permission by their midwife or doctor, acupuncture can be used to encourage the start of labor. This is for women that have gone past their due date. Using acupuncture to encourage the start of labor is often recommended before being induced with pitocin. Acupuncture can help the body start the process in a much more safe and natural way.