Acupuncture to Encourage Labor

by Dr. Ashley Abbs |

Acupuncture to Encourage Labor

Birthing acupuncture: Is it part of your plan?

A common reason women make an acupuncture appointment is when they are approaching their due date or just past. It’s such an exciting time as they are eagerly waiting to meet their baby, ready for this part of their journey to motherhood to be over and starting to worry that they may have to be induced.

What most of them don’t know, is that while acupuncture can be effective in post due scenarios in encouraging labour, the best time to start this process, to get the most benefit and have the most desired outcome is at 36 weeks.

At this time in your pregnancy, your body is already beginning to start putting the pieces together to have you and your baby prepare for labour and with acupuncture this sequence of events can occur more succinctly - working with your body to naturally cue itself.

What Takes Place During these Acupuncture Sessions?

What does this mean? During acupuncture, specific points are needled that help your body to generate a signal for uterus to contract, thin and open your cervix to foster dilation, forcing the baby to drop and settle into the right position When all of these things align, labor will begin.

Treatment frequency is practitioner dependent, but my personal favourite is to have a weekly appointment starting at 36 weeks until 40 weeks.  This time period promotes the most favorable chances for you to go into labour spontaneously around your due date. If this date passes and there is no baby, I increase the frequency to 2-3 times in a week to encourage labour a little more and to avoid further medical interventions.

At this point, if the process of labor begins it will normally take 24-48 hours after the treatment, in some cases, it can start earlier.

It is common practice for a woman to see me for an appointment and go into labour 4-5 hours later.

When consulting with an acupuncture practitioner it’s important to remember that when acupuncture is applied in this way, it is not overriding your body’s natural tendencies. Your Baby knows their birthday and sometimes we have to trust the process, however, women who have had regular acupuncture appointments prior to the big event, often have quicker, smooth, least painful births without the need of medical interventions and get the desired outcomes easily.

If you live in the Calgary or surrounding area and are interested in learning more about our Pre-birth packages contact me at or check out or for a qualified practitioner in your area.

Care Consideration: Just a reminder that the above information is not a substitute for medical care and is not a substitute for medical advice or recommendations  from a healthcare provider.  This information is not intended to treat, mitigate or cure any disease.  That said, we encourage you to connect with an Acupuncturist in your community to learn more about this and other Traditional Chinese Medicine options.  If you’ve got questions about Chinese herbal medicine or getting started with an Acupuncturist, feel free to connect with us on

Dr. Ashley Abbs is a registered acupuncturist, writer, mentor, and the owner of TerraSana Health in Calgary AB, Canada. She assists her clients in both her practice and online with the wisdom of Chinese Medicine, using the lens of 5 Element Philosophy to discover "Why They Are The Way They Are," so that they may trust their own inner wisdom and awaken their innate healing capabilities. She is also the author of the book, "5 Element Alchemy" which you can learn more about below or at or on Instagram @ashleyabbs.

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