As your due date approaches, or perhaps you’ve passed it, most expectant moms are ready to give birth. You feel swollen, uncomfortable, tired and just want the baby to come. At the same time, you wish to avoid an induction and go into labour naturally. If this sounds like you, did you know that there are several natural ways to help promote labour? Labour induction acupuncture can help with softening of the cervix, encourage proper positioning of the fetus, and improve pain management during labour.1 A recent study found that women who received acupuncture near their due date were more likely to labour spontaneously (70% vs. 50%), and less likely to require a cesarean section (39% vs. 17%).2 Treatment success rates vary between individuals, depending on the due date, number of previous births and pre-existing conditions.
Breech presentation, meaning the baby is buttocks down instead of head down, occurs in approximately 3-4% of all births. Breech presentation can be frustrating for the mother-to-be as approximately 87% of all breech presentations result in Cesarean section. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses acupuncture and moxibustion (the burning of herbs) over specific points to help turn a breech baby.3 The best time to try and turn a baby is 32-37 weeks when the baby still has room to change positions.
A large study of 226 pregnant women found that acupuncture plus moxibustion significantly decreased the need for Cesarean section due to breech presentation from 67% to 52%.3 If you have been diagnosed with a breech baby, beginning acupuncture and moxibustion before 37 weeks will offer the best chance successful treatment.
Labour & Lactation Balls
Dates- Delicious nutritious dates. They do more than help you poop during pregnancy. Eating six dates (about ~⅓ cup) per day for four weeks starting at 36 weeks of pregnancy has been shown to help ripen the cervix and reduce the need for labour augmentation. Medjool dates make a great refined sugar-free base in energy balls. These no-bake energy balls are a delicious treat and also contain ingredients to help boost milk production. Best of all, you can store in the freezer for up to one month.
- 1 cup soft pitted Medjool dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
- 1/3 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
- 1/4 cup ground flax
- 1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 cup chopped 85% dark chocolate
- pinch sea salt and cinnamon
Makes 12-15 servings, depending on desired size
- Remove dates from water.
- Puree dates in a food processor (not blender) until a small ball forms.
- Add peanut butter, flax, oats, dark chocolate, sea salt and cinnamon and pulse until combined.
- If mixture appears dry, add 1 tablespoon water.
- Remove mixture and roll into 1-inch balls.
- Store in fridge for up to one week or freeze for up to one month.
1. Jones L. Pain management for women in labour: an overview of systematic reviews. Journal of Evidence‐Based Medicine. 2012 May 1;5(2):101-2.
2. Harper TC, Coeytaux RR, Chen W, Campbell K, Kaufman JS, Moise Jr KJ, Thorp Jr JM. A randomized controlled trial of acupuncture for initiation of labor in nulliparous women. The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine. 2006 Jan 1;19(8):465-70.
3. Neri I, Airola G, Contu G, Allais G, Facchinetti F, Benedetto C. Acupuncture plus moxibustion to resolve breech presentation: a randomized controlled study. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2004 Apr 1;15(4):247-52.