The Benefits of Pre-Birth Acupuncture

The Benefits of Pre-Birth Acupuncture

The 5 main benefits of Pre-brith Acupuncture include:

  1. Reduced labour time
  2. Reduced use of analgesia
  3. Reduced chances of emergency caesarean
  4. Increased chances of a normal vaginal birth*


Acupuncture is a highly effective safe and natural method during pregnancy, aiding women in gaining optimal health for mother and child. Pre-birth refers to the final weeks of pregnancy the 36th week until birth. Research shows that the use of acupuncture prior to labor from 36 weeks prepares women by reducing the duration of the first stage of labor, by relaxing and improving the circulation of blood to the pelvis. Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce the need for caesarean births by 32%, reduce medical interventions by 35%, and reduce the need for epidurals by 31%.


It is recommended that pregnant women start pre-birth acupuncture weekly from 36-37 weeks. Pre-birth acupuncture supports the body and the release of prostaglandins to soften the cervix for labor and oxytocin to trigger contractions. Acupuncture relaxes and calms the mind whilst promoting a smooth vaginal birth. In a session the practitioner may also include points that encourage the rotation of a breech baby and treat any late pregnancy symptoms you may be experiencing like back and hip pain, swelling of the feet and hands, and heart burn.


At home recommendations


Acupressure points can easily be stimulated by you or your partner to prepare for labor to reduce pain and induce labor. During a consultation your practitioner will provide an acupressure handout and explain how to self-administer.

Rest – in the late period of pregnancy it is important to take it easy, sleep is vital for the body to support both mother and child. It is recommended to side sleeping with a pillow between your knees, ensure regular sleep times and waking times, and include relaxing pre-sleep habits and avoiding screens.

Medjool Dates Many people have long believed that dates help induce labour. There’s some evidence that shows eating dates may help shorten labour, but it won’t necessarily kick-start it.

One study of more than 200 pregnant women in 2013 showed that eating dates can help with the softening of the cervix or cervical ripening for labour.

Another study showed that pregnant women who ate 6 dates a day for 4 weeks before their due date had a shorter first stage of labour and their cervix was softer before delivery. Eating dates in late pregnancy has also been shown to lessen the need for oxytocin, the medication used to start or speed up labour.

Sick of dates? For some women eating up to 6 dates every day for 4 weeks can get repetitive, so mix it up. Dates can be used in many middle eastern savory dishes, or can be used to sweeten dishes (try dates instead of palm sugar in Thai Green Curry).

Raspberry leaf tea – Raspberry leaf tea is a herbal tea made from the leaves of the raspberry plant, it has some amazing properties as a uterus tonic by boosting blood flow to the uterus, and strengthens the fibers, promote labor and aid in quicker post-partum recovery. Here is our recommended dose;

36 weeks – 1 cup

37 weeks – 2 cups

38 weeks – 3 cups

40 weeks + 4 cups

After birth – 1-3 cups


Birth Preparation Recipes

Lamb & Date Tangine 

Just in case you are sick of the sweetness of dates, why not try them in a more savory form


  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 kg boneless lamb shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into 5cm pieces.
  • 625ml (2 1/2 cups) Massel chicken style liquid stock or bone broth
  • 2 tomatoes coarsely grated.
  • 1 large brown onion coarsely grated.
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed.
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 350g dates



Combine paprika, cumin, ginger, ground coriander and cayenne pepper in a glass or ceramic bowl. Season with pepper. Add the lamb and toss to coat. Cover and place in the fridge overnight to marinate.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Transfer date to oven proof dish, now add stock, onion, garlic, honey, cinnamon, and dates. Cook covered for 2 ½ hours or until lamb is tender.


Date & Pineapple Core Smoothie

 Pineapple contains bromelain which may aid softening of the cervix and increase contractions.


  • 8-12 pitted dates
  • 2-3 thick slices FRESH pineapple (with the core if you can get it). More if you want it.
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut – the finer it’s shredded the better – if you don’t love coconut, you can omit it. I just needed something to bridge the date/pineapple flavour.
  • Almond milk to desired consistency
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup Greek or Natural yogurt


Combine in high speed blender and drink at room temperature

To Book your Pre-Birth Acupuncture session


About the author

Dr Jo Carpenter (TCM) is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist & Shiatsu Pracitioner to find out more about Dr Jo see her Profile or Book an Appointment