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Acupuncture for Pregnancy, Labor Preparation, and Postpartum Care

By Merry Reasons, Dipl.Ac., L.Ac, FABORM

Last week, I had the opportunity of attending a post-graduate training program with Claudia Citkovitz, Director of the Acupuncture for Labor and Delivery Program at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. The intensive training focused on hand and needle techniques for labor prep, all phases of labor (including difficult and associated complications), and postpartum support. Hospital-based co-treatment approaches were also given for common medical interventions. We were taught amazing non-needle techniques that are applicable for in-office visits, and for teaching clients and their birth partners to use during the all phases of labor. 

 The final weeks of pregnancy hold a lot of energy on all levels of being – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  It is an optimal time to receive supportive care in preparation for one of the most powerful experiences of a woman’s life.  I’m excited to add these techniques to our labor prep treatments.  We encourage clients to come in weekly starting at 36 weeks, when treatments are focused on improving blood circulation to the pelvis, calming the mind, and increasing stamina. These treatments have been shown to reduce the need for medical induction, epidurals, length of labor, and cesarean delivery.[1]  We can also address pregnancy-related conditions that occur more often at the end of pregnancy.  

 Along with acupuncture, I can also access optimal baby positioning and use hand techniques to identify areas of tension that are important to relax prior to and during labor that can then be done by a client’s birth partner.  These techniques focus on relaxing the pelvic area, dilating the cervix, calming the mind, and allowing labor to progress as naturally and safely as possible.

 In the future, I hope to offer at-home services for early labor supportive care, as well as care through each stage of labor to postpartum. If you’re interested in learning more about our labor prep services, please feel free to call or email us with questions or to set up appointments. Stay tuned!


[1] Betts D, Lennox S. Acupuncture for prebirth treatment: An observational study of its use in midwifery practice. Medical acupuncture 2006 May; 17(3):17-20