acupuncture patient ready for inductionAny woman approaching her due date is anxious for labor to begin. The many months of pregnancy, and an excitement to finally meet the baby lends to the desire to hurry things along. Women routinely request induction, however a medical induction often leads to cascading medical interventions which sometimes end with a C-section.

There are many old wives tales involving the natural induction of labor ranging from ingesting castor oil to eating eggplant. Acupuncture for labor induction, while a non-traditional method in this country, acupuncture is a safe, natural and effective way to begin labor in a woman whose body needs a little push. It has been successfully used for thousands of years.


Acupuncture encourages the body to release important hormones needed for the birth of a baby. Prostaglandins to ripen the cervix and oxytocin to trigger contractions are released through acupuncture methods. Oxytocin is the body’s natural form of Pitocin, the drug used by doctors to medically begin labor. By encouraging the body to release these natural hormones on its own, a woman has a greater chance at avoiding unnecessary medical intervention during labor.

acupuncture patient with baby

Acupuncture can also be used in the weeks leading up to labor to assist the body in naturally preparing for labor. It may also shorten the time spent in labor in some women. However, even with acupuncture treatments, labor won’t begin unless her body and baby are ready. When the baby is ready, s/he sends signals to the mother’s body. If the woman’s body is ready, it will respond by going into labor.

If an expectant mother is unduly stressed, acupuncture is capable of relieving stress and anxiety she may be feeling. A woman’s body can delay labor if sufficiently stressed. By reducing stress, a woman will be able to go into labor more easily and more readily when the time is right.

When labor begins, but then stops, acupuncture may also be a safe method to stimulate consistent, labor inducing contractions. This is especially important if the woman’s membranes have ruptured, but labor has stalled out. After woman’s due date, acupuncture may be used frequently in an effort to naturally induce labor.

Acupuncture is a safe, viable method of labor induction used traditionally in Chinese medicine and has assisted many women in have a natural labor and childbirth. By working with a mother’s body and encouraging the body to perform as it is designed to, acupuncture can serve to avoid many of the unnecessary medical interventions linked to a traditional medically induced labor. For more information on the benefits of acupuncture to induce labor, please contact us.