Acupuncture has long been recognised for its myriad health benefits, spanning over two thousand years. Acupuncture for Labour Preparation is one of the many tried and tested benefits of this form of alternative medicine. Among its applications, acupuncture for pregnancy emerges as a particularly valuable practice, offering a holistic approach to labour preparation and postpartum recovery.

The World Health Organisation acknowledges the efficacy of Acupuncture in addressing a wide range of conditions, underscoring its role in supporting both physical and emotional well-being during pregnancy. At Brisbane Livewell Clinic, we have seen some remarkable effects of our Acupuncture support.

When a baby is long overdue, waiting for that one ‘kick’ from your baby becomes difficult, both physically and mentally. Taking medicinal drugs is an option, however, these drugs almost always come with side effects. Acupuncture provides an effective technique to prepare your body for labour that is safe for both you as the mother and the baby.

This technique stimulates the uterine muscles by needling at specific points on the body for smooth and natural labour.

Read our Ultimate Guide to Acupuncture

Here are a few things to keep in mind about this form of treatment.

Considerations Before Starting Acupuncture

Before beginning a course of Acupuncture, it's essential to:

  • Consult with Healthcare Providers: Discussing acupuncture with your midwife or doctor ensures it complements your prenatal care plan.
  • Choose a Qualified Acupuncturist: Selecting a practitioner experienced in pregnancy and labour preparation is crucial for the best outcomes. Our Kylie Skillen at our Wavell Heights Clinic is a skilled Acupuncturist with many years of experience in Labour Preparation. Check the registration of your practitioner on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website.
  • Understand Acupuncture Session Frequency: Knowing how often to receive Acupuncture maximises the benefits of Acupuncture during pregnancy and for Labour Preparation. Ask your Acupuncturist about their recommendations when you first meet them.

Benefits of Acupuncture for Pregnancy

  • Reduces Pregnancy-Related Discomforts: Acupuncture effectively supports the reduction of common pregnancy symptoms, including back pain, nausea, and headaches, enhancing comfort throughout the pregnancy journey.
  • Improves Sleep: Many expectant mothers experience improved sleep quality, thanks to the relaxing effects of acupuncture.
  • Emotional Well-being: By supporting the management of stress and anxiety, acupuncture promotes a sense of emotional balance, crucial during this transformative period.

Other Complementary Therapies for Labour Preparation

In addition to acupuncture, several complementary therapies can further support labour preparation:

  • Prenatal Yoga: This practice not only improves flexibility and strength but also teaches breathing techniques beneficial for labour.
  • Massage Therapy: A great way to relieve muscle tension and promote overall relaxation during pregnancy. Discover the benefits of Pregnancy Massage Therapy at Brisbane Livewell Clinic.
  • Herbal Supplements: With professional guidance, certain herbal supplements can complement your preparation for labour (always consult with your Naturopath or GP).

Postpartum Recovery with Acupuncture

Acupuncture may extend its benefits into the postpartum period, supporting:

  • Lactation Support: Enhancing milk supply for new mothers facing breastfeeding challenges.
  • Mood Regulation: Offering support for emotional regulation and aiding in the management of postnatal mood variations.
  • Physical Recovery: Facilitating the body's natural healing process after childbirth, to support the mother's recovery.

Myths and Misconceptions About Acupuncture

Despite its proven benefits, misconceptions about acupuncture persist. It's important to understand that:

  • Safety Concerns: Acupuncture, when performed by a qualified practitioner, is safe for both mother and baby.
  • Effectiveness: Far from being a placebo, acupuncture has tangible benefits, supported by both historical use and modern research.
  • Scope of Treatment: Acupuncture complements conventional prenatal care; it's not a substitute but a supportive therapy.

For further information on acupuncture and its benefits during pregnancy, visit Healthdirect Australia.

When Is the Right Time to Begin Acupuncture for Labour Preparation?

Ideally, women should opt for professional massage and acupuncture sessions throughout the pregnancy period. However, acupuncture can be implemented effectively at the onset of the 40th to 41st week of pregnancy. Waiting for the initiation of labour, without external help at this stage can prove to be dangerous for both the mother and the child. Book an appointment with a well-trained and experienced acupuncturist a week after you cross your due date.

What Should I Expect at the First Treatment Session?

The first session basically begins with a thorough assessment of your medical history and general body check-ups such as pulse detection and blood pressure levels etc. After your results have been assessed, the acupuncturist will ask you to lie down in your most comfortable position and begin by stimulating four to eight points on your body with acupuncture needles.

Often, delayed labour can be caused by stress. Acupuncture is very relaxing, which may help.

Should I Opt For Acupuncture During Labour?

Once labour has begun, Acupuncture can also prove to be an effective means of natural pain relief.

Acupuncture may reduce pain in labour. There are no known side effects of acupuncture for you or your baby.

Only a trained person should perform acupuncture. Not all hospitals have an acupuncture therapist on staff, so you may need to discuss arranging your own practitioner.


Acupressure helps direct the body’s energy into a positive direction, stimulating a streamlined and natural birth process, greatly reducing the chances of a C-section. These techniques may also be effective for post-birth problems such as inadequate lactation, postnatal depression, anxiety and urinary problems.

Last Updated on 26 March 2024 by Brisbane Livewell Clinic