Does Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, need acupuncture? Yes, today more than ever as she waits for the royal spare to make his or her (I think it’s a girl) appearance. Being pregnant past your due date isn’t generally a big deal, but after a certain point, doctors begin to talk about inducing labor. Ugh, drugs.
I successfully see women in my Chicago acupuncture practice for labor induction and I am convinced it is a wonderful option with no side effects. The common Western solution of using Pitocin and other hormones causes strong, painful contractions.
Acupuncture offers a much gentler alternative. The needles work by stimulating the body to naturally release oxytocin that triggers contractions and prostaglandins to soften the cervix for labor.
Be reassured that acupuncture will not cause labor before the baby is ready to be delivered. The treatment is working on the mother’s body not the fetus.
When I treat expectant mothers, I first have them get an okay from their MD, usually at 38 weeks, before beginning labor induction treatment. I find 38-39 weeks is a good time to start and usually anywhere from 1-4 treatments should get labor going. Which is why it is better to do it before you are considered overdue. However it can still be very effective in those cases as well.
Whether you call your local acupuncturist or not, Kate, we in the U.S. wish you luck!
Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since 2002. Dubowsky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois in Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. During her studies, she completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Dubowsky has researched and written articles on Chinese medicine and has given talks on the topic. She maintains a popular blog about health and Chinese medicine at Acupuncture Blog Chicago. Adventures in Chinese Medicine is her first book. You can find her at www.tcm007.com.
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