Labor induction is a procedure used to stimulate uterine contractions during pregnancy before labor begins on its own. A health care provider might recommend labor induction for various reasons, such as if you are more than two weeks past your due date or there is any concern for the mother’s or baby’s health.
If you find yourself past your due date by one week and two days, your care provider will probably initiate a conversation about medical inductions. Though a medical induction may be necessary, it’s not without risk and potential complications. Prior to induction, women may be offered a “stretch and sweep” by their midwife to encourage them to go into labour spontaneously.
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Acupuncture is an alternative approach to encourage women to go into labour spontaneously. Studies have shown that women treated with acupuncture when overdue are less likely to require medical induction of labour (Rabl, 2001).
Acupuncture can stimulate contractions. These contractions start slowly and increase with intensity and frequency, allowing your body to produce natural endorphins to manage any discomfort. Induction treatments are preformed after 41 weeks and 2 days or performed 3 days prior to a medical induction; it is recommended you have acupuncture daily until you deliver.
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