Acupuncture reduces medical interventions used in labor and delivery!


Approximately 95 percent of all births in the United States occur in hospitals, 3 percent in birthing centers and 1 percent at home.  Six percent of all births are attended by midwives. (1)

A 2014 study found that average hospital charges for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery can range anywhere from $3,296 to $37,227.  Once you begin adding interventions the cost can range from $8,312 to $71,000.(2)

Certified midwives have a Caesarean rate of 11.6 percent compared with the national average of 23.3 percent!

For those who desire a natural childbirth with as few interventions as possible, a midwife is a good option.  Certified nurse midwives have a Caesarean rate of 11.6 percent compared with the national average of 23.3 percent.(1)

Doctors more frequently with utilize interventions such as pitocin to strengthen and quicken labor.  This intervention was once used as a “last resort.”  Inducing labor heightens the pain and often leads to an epidural, which in some cases can delay the pushing and even trigger a Caesarean. (1)

Study found that acupuncture reduces the average time a woman spends in labor!

Many parents are seeking options that help manage the pain of natural birth and reduce risk for intervention.  An older study from 1974 found that acupuncture reduced the average time a woman spends in labor. (3)

A 2001 study followed 45 women and observed the effect of acupuncture on cervical ripening with hopes to reduce inductions.  The study concluded that acupuncture did help ripen the cervix and shortened the time between the due date and the delivery date, resulting in fewer inductions.(3)

Acupuncture helps ripen the cervix, shortening time between due date and delivery date and decreases use of medical inductions!

Another study published in the Medical Acupuncture Journal, followed fourteen midwives who recorded their acupuncture treatments with 169 women over a four month time period.  The midwife records included how many weeks gestation women were at the time of labour, whether they had received a medical induction, length of labor, type of pain relief used, and type of delivery they had.(3)

The study found that there was a 35 percent reduction of medical inductions in the women overall.  There was a 43 percent reduction for first time mothers.  It was found that the rate of epidural use was reduced by 31 percent in comparison to the local midwife practice.  Caesarean sections were reduced by 32 percent and normal vaginal births increased by 9 percent.  The study concluded that acupuncture prior to birth is very promising in terms of decreasing intervention and improving natural birth outcomes. (3)

A 2009 study examined the impact of acupuncture for pain management.  Researchers followed 607 healthy women in labor who received acupuncture, TENS or traditional analgesics.  The study reported that the use of pharmacological or invasive methods was lower in the acupuncture group.  The study concluded that acupuncture reduced need for interventions and “is a good supplement to existing pain relief methods.” (4)

If you are planning a natural childbirth and looking for options that will help with pain management, labor, and delivery, consider talking to your doctor or midwife about using acupuncture.

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Lynn Griffith
Lynn is a licensed therapist who enjoys cooking, creativity and enjoys helping other's learn how to care for their minds and bodies through healthy eating.  Lynn has wrote for The Raw Food World News and is currently in the process of building her own website focused on managing mental health through nutrition and wellness.