Acupuncture to Support an Optimal Birth Experience

In the final weeks of pregnancy, many people experience common complaints such as back pain, pelvic pain, edema, insomnia, heartburn, and constipation.  Acupuncture at this time can help to address these concerns, as well as promote a smooth and complication-free labor.  Treatments focus on fortifying energy reserves, calming the mind, relaxing the muscles and tendons, and ripening the cervix- as well as addressing the particular concerns specific to each client.  

Pre-birth acupuncture is done in a series of weekly appointments starting around week 35 of pregnancy, with additional treatments added once the due date has passed to help activate labor.  During a pre-birth session, specific points are chosen that support optimal labor preparation.  These points have been shown to reduce the incidence of medical labor induction, epidural use, and emergency cesarean.  One study found that treatment with these points reduced the duration of a first labor from 8 hours to 6.5 hours.

In addition to supporting an optimal birth experience, pre-birth acupuncture treatments provide an opportunity for pregnant folks to rest and gather their thoughts and energy in a time of such transition and transformation.  Postpartum home visits can commence a week after the birth, with treatments to support breastfeeding, pelvic healing, and restoration of energy.

If you are pregnant and curious about how acupuncture might support your well being and birth experience, please contact me at or 503-939-1051 with any questions.  

Further Reading:

This post was inspired by the teachings of acupuncturist Debra Betts, author of
The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth.  Her website has a wealth of information about acupuncture during pregnancy, including the studies mentioned above: