Acupuncture and birth preparation


Medical: gestation or pregnancy,birth Latin: gravitas – ” the gravity” English: pregnancyThe acupuncture for birth preparation is performed by a gynaecologist or midwife 1-2 times a week from the 36th week of pregnancy. Both must have completed the appropriate training and passed a final examination. A total of at least three treatments should be carried out, usually four.

If the deadline is exceeded, further sessions are also possible. During acupuncture, pregnant women lie in a quiet room for 20 to 30 minutes and relax significantly. Acupuncture points are primarily used on the legs and arms.

The position of the acupuncture points is precisely determined. In preparation for birth (birth), 4 points are treated on each side of the body:

  • Below the knee,
  • In the area of the inner ankle of the foot,
  • At the upper lateral calf
  • And on the outer side of the little toe. In addition, a head point can be punctured to prepare for birth, which has a generally calming effect and helps with anxiety symptoms.

The midwife or the gynaecologist palpates in the appropriate area until the patient signals a pressure sensitive point to her. In a first step, the needle (acupuncture needles) is brought to a depth of about 0.5 cm quickly and without rotating. Since the standard needle is only 0.3 mm thick, the insertion is usually painless.

The needles are made of flexible steel, which can be bent but does not break. The needle is then advanced with a rapid rotational movement until the so-called “De-Qi feeling” is triggered. This can be a feeling like warmth, numbness, pressure, heaviness, tingling or even a tiny, painless electric shock.

However, this varies from patient to patient. The depth of the stitches depends on the position of the points and can vary between 5mm and several centimetres. According to traditional Chinese medicine, birth is characterized by a strong polarity.

On the one hand between very strong yang forces of the uterus, which develop an intensive expelling activity during labour, and on the other hand between the structural yin forces of the birth canal, which are not yet sufficiently opened. This polarity between strong active yang and holding yin results in a temporary stasis of qi and blood, both of which are abundant due to the absence of the period, and this leads to the predominant pain in labour. Birth-preparatory acupuncture helps the maturation of the cervix (cervix) and harmonizes the holding Yin forces by promoting the flow of Qi 4 weeks before the birth. The result is more targeted contractions in the opening phase, i.e. in the time until the cervix is fully opened.


Clinical research confirms the effectiveness of acupuncture in birth preparation and facilitation in numerous studies. In the most famous study from the University Women’s Hospital Mannheim showed that 4-8 acupuncture treatments in the last four weeks of pregnancy resulted in a significant relief of the birth. In 300 acupunctured first-time mothers, the duration of birth was shortened by 20% from 10 to 8 hours.

A control group of 224 women without therapy had a birth duration of 10 hours. Clinical findings showed a significantly better “birth maturity” of the uterus in pregnant women treated with acupuncture. However, the birth-shortening effect of acupuncture is only triggered when the woman’s body is mature enough to give birth naturally.

The treatment therefore has no influence on the date of birth and does not lead to premature labour. Other studies have shown the effectiveness of acupuncture in reducing pain, easing childbirth and relaxing during childbirth. It is used for the first more severe symptoms; usually for a cervix opening of 4-5 cm.

The acupuncture points for pain relief are located in the lower abdomen or the back of the woman. It is also used for problems with placental detachment (so-called placenta) after the birth of the child. Today it is considered certain that acupuncture has no pregnancy-endangering effect. and breathing at birth