You may be familiar with the many benefits of acupuncture on pain, allergies and overall wellbeing, but did you know it can also be an effective addition to your pre-birth health care routine? Pre-birth acupuncture puts an emphasis on relaxing the mom-to-be, increasing her energy, regulating Qi in the pelvis, and moving blood flow to the reproductive organs. The treatments aim to help the body get ready for labor, and after the birth continued treatments can aid in recovery and restore balance to the body. Read on to further explore the benefits of pre-birth acupuncture.

Interventions during labour and birth have continued to rise over the years. Currently, more than one in four children is born by C-section in Canada, and the rate of medically induced births has risen substantially in the last 10 years. With statistics like these, it’s not surprising that women planning a natural childbirth may choose to take prenatal yoga classes, practice various breathing techniques and seek alternative healthcare in order to prepare themselves for their labour both physically and emotionally. Acupuncture is an option that more and more women are trying to help ease them into the birthing process.

It is recommended that you start pre-birth acupuncture three to four weeks before your due date. Your treatment plan will likely consist of weekly 30-45 minute acupuncture sessions. During each session your practitioner will incorporate a combination of pre-selected acupuncture points that have been noted to have a beneficial effect on the birthing process, as well as points chosen to address any individual health concerns. Acupuncture points are located around the ankles, feet, lower legs, shoulders, hands and sometimes lower back. You will be seated comfortably or in a side-lying position in order to create a relaxing treatment session.

Pre-birth acupuncture is shown to be beneficial for aligning the Qi (in TCM Qi is the vital energy that runs throughout the body) in the body in preparation for birth. Acupuncture needles have been shown to stimulate production of nitric oxide in the body, which increases blood flow and circulation to the tissues. Pre-birth treatments can increase blood flow to the pelvic organs as well, helping to maximize oxygen, blood and nutrient delivery.

Some women are concerned about potential risks involved with pre-birth acupuncture, such as inducing an early labour, but acupuncture has been shown to be safe during all stages of pregnancy when treatment is with a qualified and licensed practitioner.

Acupuncture treatments can be individualized to help reduce anxiety, encourage a pregnancy past its due date to move forward, as well as aid in treatment of other physical and mental ailments. Treatment can be continued postpartum on a weekly basis, and consists mainly of restoring the Qi and Blood lost in the process of labour and delivery. 

If you are interested in adding acupuncture to your pre-birth treatment plan, email us at to book an appointment with Dr. Peter Wood, Dr. TCM, R.Ac.