Using Acupuncture to Induce Labor

by Sarah Healthy Pregnancy, Baby & ChildComments: 189
Yours Truly at 42 Weeks (October 1998)

I can’t tell you how many women I’ve talked to over the years who fully intended to have a natural, medication free birth only to end up with an epidural or worse, a C-section, when their labor was late getting started.

This happens because obstetricians typically get really antsy and want to induce labor when pregnancies go past their due date. Since up to 10% of all pregnancies are late, this is a very common challenge women can potentially face with their caregiver.

Even when a pregnant woman is only a few days late, the nagging about getting labor induced usually begins along with all the fear based reasons why she should agree to pitocin right away.

“Your baby could be stillborn!”

“The placenta could fail and your baby be brain damaged!”

“The baby could get too big and you would have to have a C-section (OBs say this without ever telling the patient that accepting pitocin is itself a big risk factor for C-section!)”

Fear is a very effective strategy to get a patient to do what they want, and knowingly or not, many doctors use this to their advantage.

The problem is, once a woman accepts one intervention, in this case, pitocin, she has perhaps unwittingly boarded the freight train to a completely medicated, interventionist birth.

Do OBs know this when they are pushing for pitocin?

Of course they do.

It is well known that pitocin induced labor contractions are much more painful than natural contractions and very few women are able to withstand the pain without medication such as an epidural.

Pitocin = Epidural = C-Section

This is a common progression of events once a woman makes the first mistake and accepts just a little pitocin “to nudge things along”.

It is imperative for women seeking a natural birth to avoid induction at all costs as pitocin is a dangerous drug which has the very real chance of putting your baby in distress greatly increasing the risk of a C-section. Making the decision whether or not to induce is in no way insignificant.

This from the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA):

Pitocin can cause a tumultuous, difficult labor and tetanic contractions, rupture of the uterus and dehiscence of a uterine scar, lacerations of the cervix, retained placenta, or postpartum hemorrhage. Postpartum perineal and pelvic floor pain is increased as a result of augmented uterine contractions. Fetal complications might include fetal asphyxia and neonatal hypoxia, physical injury, and neonatal jaundice. The use of Pitocin also might be a factor in cerebral palsy, due to oxygen deprivation, and autism in the child.

Avoiding Pitocin with Acupuncture

My first pregnancy went past the 42 week mark so I know firsthand the stress that an overdue pregnancy can cause.

I was very much concerned that I would have to be induced and I was well aware of the dangers of pitocin.

Even though I was receiving prenatal care from midwives at a birthcenter who in no way pressured me to induce, they did tell me that the law in my state would require me to be seen by an OB and possibly admitted to the hospital for induction, labor and delivery if I went much past the 42 week mark.

Using the typical, natural methods to get labor started such as herbs, evening primrose oil, lots of walking etc was not working quickly enough and using castor oil as a last ditch effort was not very appealing to me.

Fortunately, my family doctor at the time was an MD as well as a doctor of Chinese medicine and she suggested I use acupuncture to induce.

Acupuncture to induce labor?   What a great idea!

This is apparently a pretty common thing in China.

I immediately knew that this was absolutely the right way to go, so I made an appointment with the acupuncturist my doctor recommended who made house calls to come over that evening.

If I recall correctly, the acupuncturist used only 4 needles.  I don’t remember exactly where he put the needles but of course it didn’t hurt at all and I was completely relaxed during the entire procedure.

He told me that the treatment would stimulate oxytocin to be produced, which is the natural hormone that initiates labor.

He also told me that labor should begin within 48 hours.

Shortly after the treatment I noticed that the spot at the top of the bridge of my nose between my eyebrows was quite tender if I pressed it.  This is the spot also known as the third eye where Indian women frequently wear an identifying mark.

I found it very curious that this spot was tender as it had never been tender ever before. I pressed it lightly with my fingers and noticed that when I did so, I had a painless Braxton-Hicks contraction.

Figuring that this spot must be an important acupressure point of some kind that would faciliate labor, I continued to lightly press this tender spot periodically over the next 24 hours and continued to notice contractions occurring shortly after.

The next afternoon I went in to be checked by my midwife to see how things were progressing if at all.

She discovered that I was a full 4cm dilated!

She told me that labor would be starting shortly and to go home and make sure everything was ready to go.

Sure enough, that night labor started and my first child was born 9 hours later with no medication or intervention required.  What’s really interesting is that the third eye acupressure spot was no longer tender immediately after my son was born.

What’s even more interesting is that with my subsequent 2 pregnancies, that third eye spot always got tender right before and during labor and delivery even though my second and third children were born pretty much on their due dates and I never needed to use acupuncture again.

Despite the effectiveness of using acupuncture to induce labor, it seems that this method is not typically considered or even well known at least in the United States.

Why not?

My hope is that more women will come to know about the use of acupuncture as a safe, natural, and effective method to induce labor and forgo dangerous intervention with pitocin.


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source:  The Truth About Pitocin

Comments (189)

  • Marina Khala via Facebook

    I also did acupuncture, pressure labor inducing foot massage and took gossypium tincture at 42 week. The next day baby was here! One of those three things helped.

    May 9th, 2014 3:12 pm Reply
  • Amy Hanna via Facebook

    At 42.5 weeks I was beyond ready to meet baby. A morning Accupuncture session specifically to induce labor and went into labor that night.

    May 9th, 2014 1:04 pm Reply
  • Leslie Anne via Facebook

    Agreed and take Lamaze and use a doula. Do not let the docs. boss you around. Educate yourself so that you can have the best birth experience possible. The docs. just want to hurry you up and deliver the baby so they can go play golf. It is your baby and your body. Stand up for your baby and yourself. It does work.

    May 9th, 2014 8:20 am Reply
  • Heather Felix via Facebook

    I had accupuncture twice with my 2nd baby and I feel like it definitely really helped!!! Gave birth 2 days later after the 2nd session at 40 +4. About a 3- hour intense, all-natural birth :-)

    May 8th, 2014 11:58 pm Reply
  • Natasha Palmisano via Facebook

    My daughter was late and had an induction scheduled at 42 weeks. I went for one acupuncture session and delivered the next day.

    May 8th, 2014 11:57 pm Reply
  • Susan Kincaid Wilson via Facebook

    I was induced with my last child in 1995, I was 44 at the time. He ended up with a broken collarbone. I had no idea that pitocin could harm him. He has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, adhd and anxiety. I wonder if the pitocin could have played a part in his illness.

    May 8th, 2014 11:27 pm Reply
  • Cassie Haga Meadows via Facebook

    All 3 of my children were induced with no complications. The first two were over 8lbs at 39weeks. My 3rd child was 9lbs7oz at 38weeks 6days. I can’t imagine going over my due date.

    May 8th, 2014 11:26 pm Reply
  • Joan Bishop via Facebook

    I’ve had this done three times, worked like a charm each time. The Chinese doctors were so confident, and rightfully so. Each one told me that I would be in labor within 12 hours, and I was. For the first I was nine days over, then seven days, then two weeks. It was truly amazing and helped me avoid hospital interventions.

    May 8th, 2014 10:53 pm Reply
  • Megan DeFee Russo via Facebook

    And call a doula!

    May 8th, 2014 10:52 pm Reply
  • Adriana Kopinja via Facebook

    Induced and C-sec with my first (when I was told by the delivery doc even before checking me that I would have a c-sec), acupuncture and v-back with the second. Educate!!! Educate!!! Educate!!!) A success story here!!!

    May 8th, 2014 10:41 pm Reply
  • Kelly Burns Lieber via Facebook

    Acupuncture is wonderful during pregnancy, delivery and post partum.

    May 8th, 2014 10:12 pm Reply
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    March 20th, 2014 6:56 am Reply
  • Amie

    So what about when the midwives need to use pitocin after the baby comes out to control bleeding and get uterus to contract more?
    This is my third pregnancy and with the previous two I had to have a couple shots of pitocin. They wanted to have an IV ready with my second but they forgot. Are there dangers to mom or baby (since we let the cord stop pulsing before clamping) with pitocin being given after the baby comes out? Is there anything you can recommend to help control bleeding now/strengthen uterus (I am 24 weeks this week) during labor and after birth? I have been drinking stinging nettle and red raspberry leaf tea from conception.

    Thank you for your help!

    March 2nd, 2014 9:32 pm Reply
  • Amber Rutkin via Facebook

    A vigorous membrane sweep, herb tincture, and a power walk with added walking lunges around my birth center parking lot got my stalled labor going! :)

    March 2nd, 2014 9:25 pm Reply
  • Caroline Meadows via Facebook

    My obstet gave me 7 days over my due date but still no baby! A pessary was inserted & I believe due to the amazing herbs I was taking my contractions were very effective & I gave birth w/out any drugs within 3 hours. I tried acupuncture w no effect unfortunately.

    March 2nd, 2014 9:01 pm Reply
  • Jodie How via Facebook


    March 2nd, 2014 4:55 pm Reply
  • Kym Sheppard via Facebook

    Acupuncture worked to induce my 2nd at 37.5 weeks. Due to my BP I was booked to be induced in the hospital that night. I had my first contraction on the acupuncture table about 15 mins into it. I arrived for my scheduled medical induction with contractions 10 mins apart. I had her with no intervention.
    A much better experience than my first where they did everything to induce me because of preeclampsia and having to get an epidural that I didn’t want incase I needed a C-section.

    March 2nd, 2014 4:16 pm Reply
  • Sara Reimold Birth Doula via Facebook

    Acupuncture is certainly better than pitocin, but nothing “natural” will really work unless the baby is somewhat ready to be born.

    March 2nd, 2014 3:42 pm Reply
  • Shannon Simpson via Facebook

    Acupuncture work for both my births. First baby was 11 days late and I went into labour 5 hours after acupuncture. Second baby was 5 days late and my waters broke on the table during acupuncture which was a shock! Both natural births with no intervention. Brooke Horsfall read this.

    March 2nd, 2014 3:31 pm Reply
  • Amy Hanna via Facebook

    Accupuncture worked for me, i was 42 weeks 3 days!

    March 2nd, 2014 3:13 pm Reply
  • Susanna Martin via Facebook

    This is why I love my midwife so much. No cervical checks unless you are in labor (don’t need them!), no pushing me to induce, and a wonderful, knowledgeable, supportive person at my side when I finally did have my babies. Every woman is different, and I really wish the medical establishment would get that already.

    March 2nd, 2014 2:54 pm Reply
  • Azziza Jane via Facebook

    Had a horrible birth experience with my first child. Broke my water, tried pitocin but we didn’t react well to it…was prepped for an emergency c-section before they realized she was crowning. The nurses were way too worried about the monitors & text book births with a nice curved chart for labor. Had a 100% natural Bradley Method birth with my 2nd and it was the best experience ever!

    March 2nd, 2014 2:51 pm Reply
  • Clay Sturm via Facebook

    good to know. I am full term this week and have been using some herbal supplements so far to strengthen the Braxton hicks and the uterus. hoping I don’t have to be induced like my last baby. it was the worst experience of my life- lauren

    March 2nd, 2014 2:35 pm Reply
  • Lydia Pantea Moser via Facebook

    Gave birth to my 3rd beautiful boy 12 days ago- totally different experience than the first two- water broke, but no contractions, decided 12 hrs later to start pitocin- found contractions to be similar to natural labour- no epidural, no c-section. Very thankful for how things turned out & I don’t regret starting the pitocin, even though its not what I had originally wanted.

    March 2nd, 2014 2:27 pm Reply
  • Stephanie Nichole Davis via Facebook

    My son was 2 weeks late.. I wanted to be induced.. I begged for it. I also begged for the drugs because my pain tolerance is very low. To each their own.

    March 2nd, 2014 2:19 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    I tend to agree with all you said above; however, the “known fact” that pitocin makes contractions worse than natural contractions isn’t quite true. I got induced for my third child based in my request. My second child was 10lbs 5oz and was a very scary vaginal delivery. My third was also measuring large and I did not want to relive a similar experience. I was naturally dilated 3cm and then 5cm, but not going into full labor. My body was ready so I tried acupuncture via my acupuncturist friend. It may have helped me dilate more, but didn’t get labor started. My midwife and I discussed my options and we decided to induce. My son was 9lbs 8oz and besides pushing, the labor with the pitocin wasn’t so bad. All three of my children I delivered with no pain medication. I know that it was my third and not my first so the relative ease of it and my experience and knowing what to expect may have helped, but my mother delivered her first with pitocin and agreed with me. Contractions stink whether they come naturally or with help. We didn’t notice any difference between the two. Delivering a huge baby vaginally can be extremely difficult and although ultrasound measurements are quite variable, you are looking at the lesser of two evils. I agree, try acupuncture first! Avoid interventions as much as possible, be your own advocate, and ask lots of questions, but know what you yourself are facing. If pitocin is in your future, don’t get yourself caught up on what “common knowledge” is about its pain level. You can handle it, just like you can handle whatever labor comes your way.

    March 2nd, 2014 1:44 pm Reply
  • Leanna Zimmerman via Facebook

    My water broke with my first child and after going 8 hours with no contractions they gave me pitocin and I had the baby in just over four hours. They were miserable hard contractions and I tore. I did not get an epidural or any pain killers and that probably reduced my risk for a c-section some. With my second child my water broke and I had immediate contractions and had her in under 5 hours but I opted for Stadol in a panic and regretted it as it made me so tired and I was actually falling asleep during labor. My baby’s shoulders got briefly stuck and even though they told me it wasn’t due to the pain meds, I have always wondered because I felt I had no strength to push. I also tore with her as well. With my third child I had a natural birth. My water broke again and he was born 8 hours later. No pitocin, no epidural. Once I hit a 6 he came so fast the nurse had to catch him cause the doctor didn’t make it in time, but it was my best labor experience and even though he was half a pound bigger than my daughter, he didn’t get stuck. They also let me nurse him immediately after birth, which I loved and I felt so good and best of all no tear!

    March 2nd, 2014 1:39 pm Reply
  • Sara Fleeman via Facebook

    Tiffany Lindbeck- Business of Being Born (on Netflix) is Ricki Lake’s documentary that I’ve watched many times and really appreciate.

    March 2nd, 2014 1:36 pm Reply
  • Sara Fleeman via Facebook

    I couldn’t afford to do acupuncture when I was pregnant with my first, but I did use acuPRESSURE and it worked wonderfully. I was also past my estimated due date, which I’m sure helped the process.

    March 2nd, 2014 1:35 pm Reply
  • Kelly Burns Lieber via Facebook

    Acupuncture is ahmazing! but some mamas like me just go 42 weeks…my mom did too. it was hard because I am so impatient! :) By my 3rd birth I just didn’t go in after 40 wks cos I knew I would be pressured by my doc although I had a cnm and s natural birthing center. “Easy” delivery of s super healthy 7 lb 12 oz bebe and I was home five hours later. Everyone is different. Why do we feel the need to mechanize birth? Strange.

    March 2nd, 2014 12:43 pm Reply
  • Shantel Andrea Francois via Facebook

    Ohh that was an interesting story I’m gonna keep that in mind ThaooAishat

    March 2nd, 2014 12:35 pm Reply
  • ThaooAishat HaSati via Facebook

    Shantel Francois

    March 2nd, 2014 12:27 pm Reply
  • Tiffany Lindbeck via Facebook

    Can anyone recommend a few of your favorite natural birth documentaries and books? I know there are a ton available, but I don’t want to overwhelm myself right away with an extensive list. I’ve read one of Ina Mays books so far.

    March 2nd, 2014 12:23 pm Reply
  • Caprice Salas-Woodall via Facebook

    In most cases with a healthy and thriving baby and mother, the best option is to allow baby to trigger labor to begin. Induction, regardless of method, is still an eviction notice. Babies want to be born, but they must be ready to initiate labor.

    March 2nd, 2014 12:17 pm Reply
  • Lyndi Klein via Facebook

    Faith McLamore Tate, hang in there!!

    March 2nd, 2014 11:36 am Reply
  • Greggy TheBun via Facebook

    Wish I had tried this method. I was 42 weeks, induced, c-section, tremendous blood loss = loss of bonding time and a long depression…not to mention being terrified of having another child.

    March 2nd, 2014 11:35 am Reply
  • Shanna Rangel via Facebook

    No need for potocin I’m trying keep baby in a few more wks:/. I’m 32 and days.

    March 2nd, 2014 11:16 am Reply
  • Darcie Moore Beyer via Facebook

    Acupuncture was successful in starting contractions with my youngest. He had a great delivery. Thanks for sharing the link!

    March 2nd, 2014 11:13 am Reply
  • Laura Duvall Huckins via Facebook

    I used chiropractic Care, Webster technique, with both pregnancies. Worked great. I had planned on acupuncture if I was a week past the guess date and I went into labor 39+1 and 40+6.

    March 2nd, 2014 11:10 am Reply
  • Sara Shay via Facebook

    Grateful for the medical industry in times of emergencies and needed intervention, but often times in America those circumstances are created. Our c-section rate is crazy high, even over other western cultures.

    March 2nd, 2014 11:10 am Reply
  • Sara Shay via Facebook

    Yes. There is much evidence now that pregnancy is 41 wks not 40. Realist it birth is a business, sad sad. Also, any other major abdominal surgery comes with counseling – c-sections do not. Setting up many mothers for post-partum depression. In additional to not getting all the hormones that are real see with a vaginal birth.

    March 2nd, 2014 11:08 am Reply
  • Melissa Ballard Springer via Facebook

    Holly Shipley

    March 2nd, 2014 11:06 am Reply
  • Jasmine Liegard via Facebook

    en Allemagne certaines caisses de maladie ,prennent en charge

    March 2nd, 2014 11:01 am Reply
  • RogerandBrenna Iverson via Facebook

    I would just like to comment that you are not “Late” til AFTER 42 weeks. After the 42 week mark you are considered post term, until then you are still considered normal! I induced my labor at 42 weeks rather than submitting to a mandatory ultrasound (I am opposed to ultrasounds) and non-stress test. Lots and lots of physical activity, I think the good hike I took did the best just of it lol, used a breast pump, blue cohosh. It started some very minor contractions that got stronger throughout the day as I continued hiking, walking etc, and the next day my labor really kicked in after lots if contractions the day and night before :)

    March 2nd, 2014 11:01 am Reply
  • Kate O’Moore via Facebook

    Acupuncture doesn’t always work; my sister did acupuncture 3 times to try and get things going when she was 10 days late. Give it a try, but if it doesn’t work, carrying a baby past 41-42 weeks also has serious risks for the mom and baby.

    March 2nd, 2014 10:47 am Reply
  • Sherry Benge via Facebook

    wow – didn’t know! I was given Pitocin, then had epidural, then had c-section…

    March 2nd, 2014 10:47 am Reply
  • Sinéad McCarthy via Facebook

    The fact that the law states when a baby must be born is very troubling. Babies come when they are ready :)

    March 2nd, 2014 10:45 am Reply
  • Suzanne Tillman via Facebook

    I don’t remember being told about any risks with pitocin. My water had broken and I wasn’t in enough labor, so OB ordered it up. I did not have an epidural either and it was a long hellish labor. I did not end up with a c-section, but it might have been preferable to the “James Herriot” method of baby delivery that I did get… (Second baby was out so quick and effortlessly that I barely made it to the hospital in time.)

    March 2nd, 2014 10:45 am Reply
  • Diane Zona via Facebook

    I had pitocin when I gave birth too , because of preaclampsia ( ? ) and it was HELL !

    March 2nd, 2014 10:36 am Reply
  • Jaclyn Borrelli via Facebook

    Just a note…while it might be a doctor’s or hospital’s “policy” to induce at a certain number of weeks (claiming it to be mandatory), a mother has the final say over if/when she consents to induction.

    March 2nd, 2014 10:32 am Reply
  • Larissa Katriina Lee via Facebook

    I was really pushed inducin with pitocin since I am 41. Me and my husband where asking, one more day, one more day… and eventually I started contractions naturally. I gave naturally birth without painkillers!

    March 2nd, 2014 10:27 am Reply
  • Steven R. La Bay via Facebook

    Brian Musial

    March 2nd, 2014 10:26 am Reply
  • Jennifer Adams via Facebook

    Was induced w pitocin both times. 1st time BC my water broke and to this day I believe a hot bath would have worked better. 2nd time BC of a hurricane and had I known I was going to be kicked out of the hospital 10 hours after birth I would have tried my luck at evacuating and praying I made it to where we were heading.

    March 2nd, 2014 10:22 am Reply
  • Maddy Hernandez via Facebook

    That explains why my contractions lasted for days too! They told me it was normal with your second baby, but it didn’t feel normal and no one I’ve talked to can relate. I had to be induced because I was super late as well, and just wasn’t counting on it so I didn’t get to research it as well as I did everything else.

    March 2nd, 2014 10:22 am Reply
  • Ginnie Lynn via Facebook

    I had my baby naturally but the placenta didn’t want to come out. They gave me pitocin to start contractions back up so I could push the placenta out, and I had painful contractions for two days after that. Yuck!

    March 2nd, 2014 10:15 am Reply
  • Jason Rutledge

    Why did it take so many words to explain that?

    February 11th, 2014 2:48 pm Reply
  • bub

    you are a very attractive women at this stage in your pregnancy. Your husband is a very lucky man.

    November 8th, 2013 3:05 pm Reply
  • Crist

    Today is my due date, I’m going to see the acupuncturist toda at 4. I have had contractions all weekend, but they stop, come back and go away. The doctor did a membrane stirring on Friday and I think that caused it. I’m not getting anxious, but more bothersome by the random real contractions I’m having, not just braxton hicks.

    Doctor asked me “how I fell about inducing” I said I do not want to do that. She said, okay, but we can go over only 1 week .. :(.. so I’m gonna try natural ways. I really don’t want to be induced and end up in a c section. My first one was natural, but that was long time ago, now I”m older… just hope acupuncture works. At least I feel hopeful by reading most of the comments here.

    I wonder what strategy I can tell doctor to keep waiting if things don’t happen. Everything in my pregnancy has been healthy, and I gained the right weight etc… just hope things go well.

    April 15th, 2013 5:31 pm Reply
  • Lp

    my cousin who is a chiropractor and skilled in acupuncture just did this to me today for the first time ( I am 3 days till my estimated due date) I was just told by my OB on tuesday that he scheduled an induction for me on the morning of april 12 so he’s not even going to let me go a full week over!! (keep in mind I am a 21 year old first time mother and have had a completely healthy pregnancy!) this really made me mad and I am going to see my cousin every three days for more acupuncture, will post how it goes!

    April 4th, 2013 12:23 am Reply
  • Pingback: Using Acupuncture to Induce Labor | Lotus Midwifery • Rowen Holland, LM, CPM

  • Sara

    Your article is very interesting and informative although, I am surprised that you used Castor oil. It is very dangerous and people should be advised agaisnt it.

    March 4th, 2013 6:50 pm Reply
  • Janet Bennett

    I sent both the pain-free delivery article and the acupuncture article to a good friend, retired obstetrician Dr. Richard Banfield. He forwarded both to his entire mail list of colleagues (55). He sent me a couple of the responses to the acupuncture one. Both are at The Stamford Hospital (TSH):

    “So happy to see this discussion on Acupuncture. My book has a thorough discussion of the uses of Acupuncture in Obstetrics.
    Joel Evans The Whole Pregnancy Handbook”

    “Dick, the idea of an acupuncturist, as part of our team at TSH, is a great one. A few years ago, I had to be treated for a non acute labyrinthitis of the right ear; the doctor who treated me was Jun Xu, M.D., who is part of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as professor of medicine and is American Board Certified in Acupuncture & Chinese Herbology. He works wonders and after a few months of treatmemt, I was cured. One to consider and his office is on E. Putnam Ave. and he might be part of the medical dept. at our institution and if not, I have all the details of this doctor.

    I actually wholeheartedly agree not only for labor induction but even more for relief pain in labor!”

    February 11th, 2013 4:21 pm Reply
  • Krysia Wesola via Facebook

    What about red raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil as a prequel? I read that they raise progesterone levels and help prime for birth…

    February 11th, 2013 2:30 am Reply
  • Dorothea Russell via Facebook

    I wish you’d told me this 12 years ago 😉 Mind you, I don’t know if it would have worked, as I was induced 6 weeks early? Good thing that my family have really quick births, it was all over and done with in 3 hours :)

    February 10th, 2013 5:15 am Reply
  • Becky King via Facebook

    Here’s an idea: LET THEM COME OUT WHEN THEY ARE FULLY COOKED. Unless you have done in vitro, conception date is practically still a big guess, so a ‘due date’ is not really that accurate. Look up the growing data showing a connection between induction, and post-partum complications for Mommy AND Baby. Really folks, your body & that little one will do the best job if just left alone.

    February 10th, 2013 12:12 am Reply
  • Jennifer Hunt Leshchyshyn via Facebook

    we tried that didn’t work for us our little guy was to stuberon lol ,didn’t want to come out for nobody by any method

    February 9th, 2013 9:44 pm Reply
  • Lynne Bisnar via Facebook

    If only this wisdom was available 18 years ag..i can only impart to others…

    February 9th, 2013 9:09 pm Reply
  • Brittnee Turner Horting via Facebook

    I have had 3 VBAC’s and loved them, my most recent was 4 months ago. I’d love to talk for those interested in information! Just PM me if you have questions :)

    February 9th, 2013 9:05 pm Reply
  • Annie Atkin Rasmussen via Facebook

    Acupuncture for induction is so well-established as successful that they offer it at my local hospital. Awesome! (Not that I go there to have my babies, but it’s great for people who do.)

    February 9th, 2013 6:53 pm Reply
  • Kathryn Zochert Berg via Facebook

    16 years ago I tried to do this and couldn’t find an acupuncturist who would agree to do this. Glad things have changed.

    February 9th, 2013 6:22 pm Reply
  • Tiff Fouks via Facebook

    April Savage and Jane Goodman…. Check your ‘other’ box for a PM from me…

    February 9th, 2013 6:18 pm Reply
  • Amie Miller via Facebook

    yes, best avoided buuutt when when you live 2 hours from the hospital and labor lasts much less than that (the last was 18 minutes) then it is a welcome relief. And its not a guarantee of epidural either. I birthed 5 of them without an epidural. I am all for as little “popular” medicine as possible because it really does get to be too much but sometimes Its just better AND safer than say…giving birth in a car. Which, funny enough my cute little SIL did. C:

    February 9th, 2013 6:14 pm Reply
  • Lena Lynch via Facebook

    My first baby I was told by my Doctor he would induce me in the hospital at 42 weeks, so three days before, I took blue and black cohosh tincture throughout the day and was in full labor by the night time….everything went perfectly….I stayed home and had a water birth!

    With my 4th child I was in Alaska and they required my midwife to transport me to the hospital by 42 weeks to be induced, so the week before I did try the acupuncture, but nothing happend, so we did the blue and black cohosh…..still nothing happend.
    5 days later I again tried the blue and black cohosh, this time with only 2 days till induction by law, I was in labor in only 15 min, no problems!

    With my 5th child I was here in Ecuador, my water was very low and the midwifes and Doctor was eager to have her come out for fear of not enough amniotic fluid.

    I was at 42 weeks again and she had not even engaged, my midwife took me to a special old Doctor who wiggled my hips and feet and the baby dropped right into the birth canal and her head engaged to my shock, I was having contractions within 30 seconds and went home in a taxi for another wonderful water birth!

    February 9th, 2013 5:47 pm Reply
  • Andrea Cypress Goldman via Facebook

    As a doula and CB educator, I want to point out that using acupuncture for inducing labor is STILL an induction. A non-drug induction, but, still, it’s trying to force the baby out before it’s ready. Yes, sometimes that is necessary (being past due is not always a good reason, I do want to stress… some babies gestate longer than others, check with your care provider and do your research) but I think a lot of women think that just because acupuncture is “natural” that it’s okay to use for induction at any time. It’s not!

    February 9th, 2013 5:25 pm Reply
  • Tiff Fouks via Facebook

    Sure will Jane!

    February 9th, 2013 4:37 pm Reply
  • Josh ‘n’Jane Goodman via Facebook

    ^Tiff Fouks, will you PM me the VBAC info too please! :)

    February 9th, 2013 4:29 pm Reply
  • Tiff Fouks via Facebook

    April Savage, I have tons of VBAC information for you if you want me to pm it to you! I had a very successful VBAC 3 years ago and am planning another one for July… Start by contacting your local ICAN network to get support. A lot if easing my husband’s fears had to do with the competency of the doctor or midwife and their experiences.

    February 9th, 2013 3:46 pm Reply
  • Keely Stewart via Facebook

    I am a massage therapist and have had great success getting labor started with acupressure also!

    February 9th, 2013 3:39 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth Belch via Facebook

    If you can, avoid *any* induction. :) The least risk is usually to leave baby where he/she is, maybe with a little extra monitoring. :)

    February 9th, 2013 3:29 pm Reply
  • Hilary Berg Severson via Facebook

    I had pre eclampsia with my first. My midwife was concerned but she promised not to induce me. Instead she stripped my membranes and it worked. I hate seeing women scared into making choices that may not be best. I think the moral here is to stand up for yourself and take control of your own healthcare.

    February 9th, 2013 3:25 pm Reply
  • Umm Maryam via Facebook i think it was, had loads of links to pages an pages of research and ppls personal stories of vbac, helped me loads to have mine. also helped me when i wanted to have a homebirth. alhumdullilah

    February 9th, 2013 3:19 pm Reply
  • Laura Joanna Myers via Facebook

    I’d try it next time. I didn’t like being induced, but I had a pain med free birth even with the pitocin. No epidural for me.

    February 9th, 2013 3:19 pm Reply
  • Jackie Stephens via Facebook

    You can be happy with your birth, but science and research doesn’t lie, inductions and medical interventions are not good on the body or baby.

    February 9th, 2013 3:18 pm Reply
  • April Savage via Facebook

    anyone have some positive research on VBAC ‘s? I unfortunatley had the worst birthing experience and determined to have a more peaceful and stress free one the next time but need facts to help ease my fearful husbands nerves :)

    February 9th, 2013 2:58 pm Reply
  • Lindy Wilson via Facebook

    There is NO such thing as a natural induction! Babies come when they need to! Do you realize how highly inaccurate the methods used to predict “due dates” are!?!

    February 9th, 2013 2:55 pm Reply
  • Alicia Cousineau-Ingram via Facebook

    Ha! I had an elective scheduled cesarean at 39 weeks. My son was 8lbs 3oz. He never dropped. My OB fought with me and in the end and said I was right for what I chose because any other way would have been impossible. I don’t tell other moms which way is right and would never criticize. To each his own and whatever works.

    February 9th, 2013 2:52 pm Reply
  • Sara Neipert via Facebook

    Great post, Sarah!

    February 9th, 2013 2:52 pm Reply
  • Anna Paletti Walker via Facebook

    Nicole Love , if u want a natural birth don’t be induced unless absolutely necessary. There are times when it is safer to have an induction. However, many women are scared into induction or don’t get the facts about the risks… If u do not want a natural birth and don’t have a problem with the risks than epidural a and a little pitocin to speed things a long is common and can result in a perfectly nice birth. It is just unfortunate for women who don’t have all the info or who really want a natural birth. :) glad u had a wonderful birth experience. Happy moms and babies is the important thing!

    February 9th, 2013 2:45 pm Reply
  • Claire Voyant via Facebook

    I had a HORRIBLE induced labor…42 hours long, inserting catheters into my cervix to dilate it and use of that pill that they put by your cervix to try to start dilation. Finally got the epidural after 38 hours of AGONY (they didn’t want me to have one until I started dilating). I would NEVER go through that again!

    February 9th, 2013 2:36 pm Reply
  • Thea Steggall via Facebook

    I had accupressure, I suppose it’s similar. It didn’t work.

    February 9th, 2013 2:35 pm Reply
  • Amy Renee Guenst via Facebook

    this is great,,,thanks for posting,,so true

    February 9th, 2013 2:33 pm Reply
  • Katie Jofré via Facebook

    I’ve never tried acupuncture, but would definitely look into it. With my second, my midwife gently “stripped” my membranes at 42 weeks and labour began about 12 hours later. I had a very short labour and an easy delivery.

    February 9th, 2013 2:33 pm Reply
  • Anna Paletti Walker via Facebook

    Can I double like this! Medical induction for pre eclampsia , diabetes, or low fluid is one thing… But a social induction or a ” I’m tired of being pregnant induction” is a very bad idea for so many reasons!

    February 9th, 2013 2:30 pm Reply
  • Rhie Lorenz via Facebook

    We know, because of these studies that to intervene is dangerous! Speeding is also dangerous, yet I do it from time to time, & I survive. However, I will not ever tell me children that it is ok to do that, & that they should not be concerned.

    February 9th, 2013 2:25 pm Reply
  • Sarah Foley via Facebook

    I had acupuncture twice to induce my labor and went into labor naturally at 41 weeks. I highly recommend it. It definitely got things going for me!

    February 9th, 2013 2:25 pm Reply
  • Rhie Lorenz via Facebook

    Nicole, you are the exception. Just because an experience was one way for one person does not mean it will be the same for another. This is why we refer to studies that show that for MOSY woman, to be induced, & to have an epidural, leads to cesarean section, again for most, not all.

    February 9th, 2013 2:23 pm Reply
  • Tim-Micki Schmidt via Facebook

    I was induced for fear of infection after my water broke and then nothing happened. For me, the contractions following were completely unnatural, everything was forced. I wish that i could go back and do it differently. In my opinion, try everything you can prior to induction.

    February 9th, 2013 2:23 pm Reply
  • Matt Marie McClanahan via Facebook

    Induction bypasses the natural processes of the body and makes labor harder, guaranteed.

    February 9th, 2013 2:23 pm Reply
  • Annemarie Scolari via Facebook

    Both my kids were 11 days late. I used acupuncture with both of them. It didn’t work for my first, castor oil did (blech), but I just think she was ready to come out! With my 2nd she was born the next day.

    February 9th, 2013 2:21 pm Reply
  • Maranda Thomas via Facebook

    I have been induced 4/5 times. I LOVE INDUCTION!! I had great results with it. Never had an epideral. Even though it was painful, I didn’t know any other way to labor because my first was induced. It all felt the same to me. The one that didn’t require an induction He was sunny side up, so I had intense back and thigh labor which was HORRIBLE. My longest labor was 6 hours, and my shortest was 1 1/2 hours. I wouldn’t do it any differently either. I enjoyed my labor, and after all, God said it would be painful!!!!

    February 9th, 2013 2:21 pm Reply
  • Michelle Klinger via Facebook

    Your body had to be ready for acupuncture to work. I tried it at 41+ weeks and it didn’t work. I ended up with a successful, vaginal induction in a hospital with a very patient midwife. I believe her patience is why it was a successful vaginal birth.

    February 9th, 2013 2:19 pm Reply
  • Sarah Skinner via Facebook

    I have also used acupuncture (moxibustion) to encourage my 41.5 week babe to turn enough to start labor. Had it done at 1pm, by 9pm I was in active labor and birthed him at 6:45 the next morning.

    February 9th, 2013 2:15 pm Reply
  • Nicole Love via Facebook

    I really hate posts like this. I understand that some women want to go the natural way, but some of us can handle it. Both of mine were induced, I had the ep with both, and no cesarian. I had pain free labors both times, 20 mins of pushing with my first, and only three pushes with my second. Both my children are extremely healthy, and I was able to completely enjoy the process of giving birth both times. I’m all for natural birth, but don’t make induction and epidurals sound worse than they really are.

    February 9th, 2013 2:15 pm Reply
  • Liz

    I’ve used acupuncture once a month for the last 3 months (am currently 36 weeks) because I started to get some pain/tightness throughout my back. It has been fabulous to not have any back or other muscle pain (excluding the practice contractions) since I started! I am very much looking forward to “inducing” or continuing with some form of muscle relaxation through acupuncture – not so much in the hopes of changing the timing of birth but because it is so relaxing to the rest of my body. I’ve heard it really helps to progress labor naturally because you have a good starting point.
    Here’s hoping….

    January 21st, 2013 5:24 pm Reply
  • Jeremy

    “He told me that the treatment would stimulate oxytocin to be produced, which is the natural hormone that initiates labor.”

    Apparently you are unaware that oxytocin and Pitocin… are the exact same thing hahaha. Pitocin is just the brand name for the hormone oxytocin which is EXACTLY the same as the oxytocin your body produced. I believe it’s rDNA fabricated.

    If you “Natural” “organic” “herbal” nuts would actually go get any kind of education in medical things it would save a lot of people from misinformation.

    December 14th, 2012 1:51 pm Reply
    • hwells

      Jeremy, you are misinformed. Pitocin is the synthetic form of oxytocin and synthetic hormones do not act the same way in the body as natural hormones do, and they are certainly not administered the same way (meaning in the same dose and frequency) During labor and birth, Pitocin can actually interfere with the body’s ability to produce oxytocin which in turn interferes with oxytocin’s role in releasing pain relieving endorphins and the natural spike in oxytocin that occurs at the moment of birth that facilitates the quick and easeful ejection of the baby from the mother’s body. Additionally Pitocin does nothing to accelerate cervical dilation (oxytocin does) thus the frequent need for additional interventions following medical induction. To claim that oxytocin and Pitocin are “exactly” the same is inaccurate. Perhaps you should take your own advice and educate yourself before making arrogant accusatory (and ignorant) statements on a board of women (mostly) trying to share helpful information about alternative options to medical birth interventions.

      May 5th, 2013 11:08 am Reply
      • Jenn

        Ditto and thank you.

        October 31st, 2013 12:14 am Reply
  • Aslan, RN

    I am an RN and am all for natural medicine (just finished 3 sessions of acupuncture, seeing my LMT tomorrow, and am planning a home birth – 39 wks currently), but I would like to point out that the flu shot is not a drug; it’s a vaccine. I agree with you wholeheartedly that no practitioner should ever argue with you about getting one, but I do feel it is a responsibility for every medical practitioner to provide appropriate education on recommendations, including both risks and benifits, based on evidence-based findings.

    July 25th, 2012 2:05 am Reply
  • Nic

    I too, was pressured by Dr. to be induced with baby #1 even before my due date…I stayed strong after educating myself and finally tried acupuncture on the 12th day past my due date. 12 hours later labor started and I had a very relaxed (would not even call it painful) 1st birth experience.
    Even if it may not “induce” labor it will definitely relax you and help you get into the right frame of mind, which often then will lead to labor.
    I am due in 2 weeks with a predicted “big baby” and would definitely do the same again.

    March 19th, 2012 1:56 am Reply
  • Honeybee Mama

    great and informative article! just finished the chapter on induction in thinking woman’s guide to a better birth yesterday (rereading it for doula recertification…i flipping love that book!). women really need to understand the risks associated with “active management of labor” and pitocin. accupuncture is such a great alternative!

    March 16th, 2012 12:23 pm Reply
  • Amber

    There is nothing wrong with a labor filled with medication…good grief, you make it sound as if an epidural–gasp–is going to put my baby into therapy or cause great handicaps. Get over yourself, lady.

    January 29th, 2012 2:23 pm Reply
  • Evette

    Oh I love this post, so helpful!

    December 16th, 2011 8:22 pm Reply
  • ashley.roz

    By the way. You looked FABULOUS at 42 weeks. I cannot wait to be pregnant again with REAL food. It’s easy to see how well nourished you are in that photo. So many women in those last weeks look so bedraggled and depleted. It makes you wonder if it’s just conventional wisdom that we have to feel so bad at the end.

    December 16th, 2011 1:17 pm Reply
  • ashley.roz

    I SO wish I had tried this last year for my son. It might have completely changed my outcome. The nurse midwife recommended it but I balked at the price. I learned my lesson!

    December 16th, 2011 1:12 pm Reply
  • Julia Overstreet Sathler via Facebook

    i wish i had known this back then…thanks for the info.

    December 16th, 2011 12:51 pm Reply
  • Pingback: As seen on the internet and weekend food plans December 16, 2011 | I Believe In Butter

  • Sally Jo Pyle via Facebook

    I wish I’d done this. I do know that accupuncture helped me to become pregnant!

    December 16th, 2011 5:41 am Reply
  • Shaniqua

    I’m so glad you wrote this article! One year to the day too late for me, but hopefully right on time for another mother to be. If I gave more thought as to what to do if I never went into labor naturally before 42 weeks, I would have been better prepared. At the time I searched but could only find doom and gloom on the internet. No good advice. My son was due Dec 15, 2010 and while I did wait until 42 weeks, I went in for induction on Dec 29th because my midwife would not support my decision for a home birth after that. Accupuncturist was hard to secure on Christmas weekend. I could only get one session in and it wasn’t enough. My son wasn’t born until Dec 31, and the Cervadil that they gave me to dialate ( I was 0) tipped my as yet undiagnosed toxemia into full blown toxemia, unnatural labor, and eventually cesarian, though if you can believe it I refused epidural for the whole 28 hours -even when they gave me pitocin. What a ride! I wouldn’t recommend it exactly but thank God I refused. Motrin would have given me a seizure for sure if I took it for pain with my lowered platelets that they didn’t know about yet. I got a spinal for the cesarian. Was worth it when I saw my sons eyes nice and bright, 9lb9oz, able to focus, no breathing issues! Induction is bad! Nutrition is so important! Just in case another mom is reading this:

    Morning Sickness and preeclampsia

    Dangers of attempting to reduce calories in pregnancy for any reason (baby “too” large):

    Dangers of Iron supplementation for “Anemia” in lieu of good nutrition (and large babies):

    “Gestational Diabetes”:

    December 16th, 2011 1:52 am Reply
  • paige

    i’m not surprised to see so many people mentioning that the acupuncture/acupressure points were in their ankles. i had a chiropractor appointment the day before my labor (my daughter kept wanting to be breech – my midwife would feel her head at the top of my stomach, then my chiropractor would adjust me and she’d flip, but then after a while she’d flip back – this happened two or three times) and in addition to my regular adjustment, he did some special adjustment to my ankles and the very next morning i woke up in early labor, and had my daughter by 3:30 pm. i really think the ankle-thing had something to do with it!

    December 15th, 2011 5:46 pm Reply
  • Ancient Elements (@AncientElements)

    Using Acupuncture to Induce Labor:

    December 15th, 2011 5:42 pm Reply
  • Aimee

    When my oldest was ten days late, I had hit my breaking point of stress. My husband had to leave overseas in a few days and I REALLY wanted him there with me. (I wasn’t keen on castor oil either!) My midwife suggested I try acupuncture. I went in and received one round, however, he was also an MD and worried since I hadn’t had an ultrasound in a few months. (in hindsight, I didn’t need one) He wanted to make sure there wasn’t a medical reason he was SO late. When it was ALL fine, he was just comfortable, I went back the next day. He proclaimed, “Now, I give you acupuncture like a STRONG, CHINESE WOMAN! Big Baby in there needs to come out.” (He was an old Chinese gentleman). That was at noon, Saturday. By 6 that evening I was in labor. After a long labor, my “BIG BABY” was born at 11 lbs 4.5 oz and 23.5 inches long. Recovery was quite tough as I am quite petite, so with my second I began going to a Chiropractor at week 35 to make necessary adjustments for a big baby, and acupuncture at week 39 to help my body prepare. While its true, it WILL NOT make a baby come who isn’t ready, it did fully prepare my body. With the help of evening primrose from week 35, some herbs, chiropractics and acupuncture I had the easiest labor. My second son was born the day after his due date at 9lbs, 7 oz and 21 inches long. I cannot highly enough recommend both chiropractics and acupuncture enough, and also birthing at home is something I always tell women to look into, even though they look at me like I am nuts. I am the legend in our small neighborhood. My friends tell any woman who “falls” pregnant to come talk to me. Ha ha. I am a natural birth advocate all the way!

    December 15th, 2011 5:20 pm Reply
  • Lori @ Laurel of Leaves

    Sarah, this is fascinating!! Thank you for getting this message out there so hopefully more people turn to natural methods of inducing labor instead of being pressured into pitocin with fear tactics. I’ll be sharing this post for sure!

    December 15th, 2011 4:18 pm Reply
  • Chanel Mendoza (@ChanelMendoza1)

    Amazing natural methonds to do great things!

    December 15th, 2011 2:49 pm Reply
  • Angela

    Sarah, I have to tell you, you are the cutest pregnant lady!! None of my full term pregnant pics look half this good!! My two deliveries had complete medical intervention and they were both HORRIFIC!!! First one was induced. When I finally reached 10 cm, I pushed for over THREE hours!! Thankfully, my doctor didn’t force a C Section on me — he was patient. But my son’s heart rate did drop continuously w/ the pitocen. They had to keep shutting off the IV and putting me on oxygen. After using the vacuum extractor, we finally got my little booger out! My OB/GYN retired after that!! True story! My second baby, my new doctor wouldn’t even let me attempt labor! Planned C section as he was too big (9lbs 10 oz). Not sure if I made the right decision in forgoing labor. I was pretty scared at the prospect of being totally cut ‘down there’ to get a big baby out! And the doctors told me frightening stories of shoulder dystocia. Said my son was at risk. So I submitted and went the C Section route. We may have more, but the idea of going through another C section is pretty scary. Live and learn!

    December 15th, 2011 1:39 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I guess I looked cuter than I felt. I felt like a beached whale at that point! LOL

      December 15th, 2011 4:55 pm Reply
  • Erin

    I had three strong treatments of acupuncture when I was 2 weeks overdue. A few days after, I went from 0 to 9 cm in 6 hours. I will definitely use the same approach next time if I’m “late” and the midwives start talking about induction.

    December 15th, 2011 9:27 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Great results! Love it!

      December 15th, 2011 4:57 pm Reply
  • Eliza

    *thing, not ‘this’.

    December 15th, 2011 3:42 am Reply
  • Eliza

    Was this all an elaborate ruse to show everyone how gorgeous you managed to look while heavily pregnant?! Haha.

    On a serious note, my partner’s son’s beautiful mother is very keen for a natural, drug-free birth for her second child due at the end of December, but told me casually “It’s good actually, I might get to meet the baby a bit early because it’s due around Christmas and if the baby isn’t born a few days before they usually induce you because none of the doctors or nurses want to work on Christmas.”

    She’s an amazing, intelligent, loving and thoughtful woman. This sort of this is so common that it raised no alarm bells, even with someone very conscientious about all of their decisions regarding parenthood.

    Pretty bloody scary!

    December 15th, 2011 3:41 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Not too clued in to her intuition, is she? Sad. Will have to learn the hard way then.

      December 15th, 2011 4:58 pm Reply
  • Craig

    Incredible story. My daughter just had a baby and had pitocin and all that.
    She should have used an acupuncturist! My other daughter wants to learn
    to be an acupuncturist. Western doctors should try to include this
    in their practice. It’s not dangerous and so many people report being helped.

    December 14th, 2011 11:47 pm Reply
  • Stacie

    Great article! I have seven children, five born at home. Most were “late”, by several weeks. My mother always said, “When the apple is ripe, it will fall from the tree”. My last baby was born on her due date, at home, and I was 45 years old. I think women need to realize that nobody does anything to them(induction, epidural, etc.) unless they allow it. If your doc tor is pushing for something you do not want, just go home and call them when you go into labor. Simple!!

    December 14th, 2011 11:14 pm Reply
  • Jamie Keller

    Acupuncture worked for me…twice! With both of my pregnancies I went to 41 weeks and did not want to be induced by my Dr. With both pregnancies I received acupuncture treatments and within 48 hours I was holding my baby. With my second pregnancy, the acupuncturist found out the baby was posterior instead of anterior and physically moved the baby into the right position by lifting my belly and applying pressure to certain points on my body. I left the appointment and 8 hours later I was in labor. I HIGHLY recommend acupuncture!!!

    December 14th, 2011 10:49 pm Reply
  • Anastasia @ Eco-Babyz

    I gave birth to my first one day before due date and to the second baby at 41 weeks and 3 days. I was getting impatient at that point, so that evening I bounced on a birthing ball and danced with my toddler – gave birth that night!

    December 14th, 2011 5:59 pm Reply
  • Helen

    Oh this is such good advice!
    I was induced for my first child and as a result got a swollen Bartholin’s gland which was extremely painful after the birth. It must have been a reaction to my body having been taken over by a medical team with my wellbeing low on their list of priorities.

    For my second child I persuaded my OB to add on a week (late ovulation, you know my cycle is long etc. and it can’t have been then etc. ) I think he knew I was playing for time, but he went along with it and sure enough according to last period dates baby was born at 42 weeks and 3 days (UNHEARD of here in France, where they are extremely interventionist!). I did acupuncture twice and the second time it worked, or I was about to go into labour anyhow… Who knows?!

    For my 3rd child we moved to the UK but on arrival I gave my French due date which I had also “negotiated” and which is at 41 weeks, whereas the UK one is at 40 weeks so I gained a week, phew! TWO weeks breathing space for baby to decide to come on his OWN. Contrary to the other two labours he arrived at 40 weeks and 2 days, but on paper it was 38 weeks and 2 days. Who cares? I breastfed my toddler to kick a slow labour off and boy did that work, baby number 3 was born 15 mins after I arrived at hospital. NO intervention, no monitor system, no stirrups. I marched in, pacing like a madwoman, gave birth standing up, no sign of a rip or tear and was out the next morning! A DREAM!

    I would like to add that I was healthy, under 30 and had NO complications (and unlike Sarah I had ultrasounds so doctors weren’t concerned in any way about how my babies were coming on). I don’t advise dishonesty but some professionals can be talked into allowing us the space and freedom we need to go into labour on our own. It’s a basic right that needs defending.

    Well done Sarah, once again!

    December 14th, 2011 5:02 pm Reply
  • Sara

    My second child was 1 wk past due and I was receiving the threat of induction by my Dr. My husband and I went home from the Drs. and used Moxa Sticks over the pressure points that typically induce labor and sure enough, 2 hrs. later I was in labor and 4 hrs. later my son was born! Acupuncture and acupressure definitely deserve more recognition! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    December 14th, 2011 4:06 pm Reply
  • Michele

    Thank you for this Sarah–my first baby was a very long labor, I went through about 20 hours of painful contractions only to reach 4 cm. I was committed to a drug free birth, but my ob (who had disagreed with my birth plan of no drugs from the start) told me point blank “if you don’t get an epidural, you’re going to be too tired when the time comes to push and we’ll have to do a c-section”. Had I known more about natural birthing and how it works, I might have argued. But I agreed. Epidural administered, and another 12 hours of labor ensued. She came to check me at that point and I was at 9cm, but “we’re going to administer Pitocin anyway to make sure you get the rest of the way there.” Again, had I been more savvy (and less exhausted) I might have argued. But I didn’t. After 2 1/2 hours of pushing my baby girl finally came out–completely blue and not breathing. The trauma team was called in and they gave her oxygen for a full 2 minutes before she breathed on her own.

    I had always wondered why she came out like that–she had been fine, no distress measured in even the minute or two before. Reading your post is the first time I heard that Pitocin can cause that kind of reaction in a baby. It makes me FURIOUS to think my ob caused that distress to my daughter and I was too stupid to stop her from administering a drug that was completely useless to me and gave the hospital a chance to charge more for my labor and delivery. Thankfully she is fine now, a beautiful and brilliant 9 year old, but only by the grace of God. I certainly wish your blog had been around during my pregnancy.

    December 14th, 2011 3:32 pm Reply
  • Keturah Knapp via Facebook

    Jessica: could just be that your baby wasn’t ready to come out. My mother was born perfectly healthy and with no interventions at 43.5 weeks because grandma didn’t believe in inductions and apparently, my mother didn’t know she was over-staying her welcome =)

    December 14th, 2011 2:56 pm Reply
  • sara r.

    I thought for sure I was going to have to fight not to be induced with my first, but instead had a fast natural birth on my due date and almost didn’t make it to the hospital, lol.

    Every person I know who has had a baby after me has been induced, and most have had c-sections, despite me trying to kindly warn them :(

    December 14th, 2011 2:56 pm Reply
  • Keturah Knapp via Facebook

    I had acupuncture around my due date, but only asked them to help me prepare for labour instead of the spots to induce labour. I could feel lots of changes going on for the rest of the day, and when I had my daughter 5 days later, I felt that it was so smooth (wouldn’t say it was even painful at all… just very intense) because the acupuncture had helped me prepare so fully for the birth.

    December 14th, 2011 2:54 pm Reply
  • Jessica Young-Kaloger via Facebook

    I tried this, acupressure, massage, chiro…and was still 42 weeks…with a 10 pound four ounce baby. Fully effaced for a whole month…never went into labor…too big maybe.?

    December 14th, 2011 2:40 pm Reply
  • Sarah Kinney Wilbur via Facebook

    Question: Would this work on early induction if medically needed? Talking about risk to baby and need to induce early, not because of desire to have baby out.

    December 14th, 2011 2:16 pm Reply
    • Doug

      I’ve never been able to induce anyone early.

      December 14th, 2011 11:14 pm Reply
  • Soma Sengupta

    Grea artcl. Thanks!

    December 14th, 2011 2:13 pm Reply
  • Kala

    Alternative medicine has many solutions for life’s happenings. 3 of my 4 babies were breech. I didn’t know until my 4th that a chiropractor can adjust you and the baby’s head can move into the right position. Believe me, this is much better than going into the hospital for drugs and a manual inversion by a doctor. Nature works better than force!

    December 14th, 2011 2:05 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    I just have to ask. How big was your baby? You looked/look fantastic!

    December 14th, 2011 2:03 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      He was born 8lbs 8 oz at 42 weeks. Thanks! I felt pretty huge though and definitely ready to offload that baby!

      December 14th, 2011 2:49 pm Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    Would you believe that some Doctors will actually persuade a woman to have induced labor just so the doctor can go on a planned vacation? I know at least three women who found out their labor was induced just for this reason. One of them was in labor for over 24 painful hours, after being induced.

    Never trust a doctor blindly. Ask , persist, ask!

    December 14th, 2011 1:31 pm Reply
  • Yissell

    This is so interesting! Unfortunately the same this happened to me. My first pregnancy, far away from my country and language, no relatives or family around except my dear husband. They told my baby was big, they “predicted” 9 pounds or more and there was big chances for a C-section. I passed the due date mark and besides my daily walks, castor oil and herbs I had no contractions at all. I was getting desperate, I thought there was something wrong. They scheduled induction. I always dreamed and planned a natural birth, no medications. But after getting in the hospital they told me it was the right thing. I was confused, nervous, then I fall for the medications. They told me exactly the same things you describe, stillborn, brain damage… etc! I was scared!!! I didn’t want to lose my baby because of my determination or not having medications! Then Pitocin = Epidural = C-Section so my son was born at 41.6 weeks, weighting 10.3 pounds! Now I know better!!! Thanks Sarah!

    December 14th, 2011 1:16 pm Reply
  • Aimee

    So how did you find a family doctor that was an MD as well as a doctor of Chinese medicine? I would love to change my doctor, who at my last visit argued with me for 10 minutes on why I should get the flu shot. I need to find someone who is more open minded and is not brainwashed into just pushing drugs.

    December 14th, 2011 1:06 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Sheer luck. We had been going to a Chinese Doctor and she decided to go to medical school and get her MD so that was a huge bonus!

      December 14th, 2011 1:26 pm Reply
  • Heba Saleh (@LifeinaPyramid) (@LifeinaPyramid)

    Interesting Article: “Using Acupuncture to Induce Labor ” – The Healthy Home Economist

    December 14th, 2011 1:01 pm Reply
  • Melissa Smart via Facebook

    Almost every day you tell me something I wish I had known 11 years ago! Four children, four pitocin inductions :(

    December 14th, 2011 12:54 pm Reply
  • Meagan

    Great story! THANKS for sharing

    December 14th, 2011 12:53 pm Reply
  • Marcia Wilwerding

    For women who wish to avoid Eastern mystic procedures body massage, nipple manipulation, and sex all also stimulate the production of oxytocin.

    December 14th, 2011 12:45 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Acupuncture is not mystic … it has been proven from a rational, scientific perspective in a number of articles I’ve read which is why many MDs are now getting certified.

      December 14th, 2011 1:01 pm Reply
    • Michelle

      Please look into acupuncture more. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist and consider myself well-educated in the body – Acupuncturists typically have SIGNIFICANTLY more training than us. Acupuncture requires intense anatomy and physiology knowledge and great skill.

      December 16th, 2011 11:41 am Reply
  • Wellness Renegade (@DougGrootveld)

    Hey Moms to be: Using Acupuncture to Induce Labor – The Healthy Home Economist

    December 14th, 2011 11:45 am Reply
  • Che Stanchfield Borden via Facebook

    I did acupuncture and labor happened in less than 2 hours. The 4 needles were in my wrists and ankles.

    December 14th, 2011 12:44 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Oh yeah! Thanks for that! I remember now. I vaguely remembered the ankles. Don’t know how though … my belly was so huge I couldn’t see my feet! LOL

      December 14th, 2011 1:00 pm Reply
  • Sara

    I am one of those for whom induction using acupuncture did not work. It was among the myriad of things I tried. And I was overdue – at 41 weeks and counting…with twins. You’re supposed to be at risk for pre-term labor with twin pregnancy but I couldn’t seem to make myself go into labor regardless of what I did. I ate a LOT of protein during my pregnancy and think that helped me carry so far. Anyway, I ultimately agree – there is a certain time that you are supposed to go into labor. If your body is not there, then lots of natural treatments are ineffective because they (rightly so) don’t force your body over the edge. Totally agree that Pitocin is a bad option no matter what.

    December 14th, 2011 12:40 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      How many acupuncture sessions did you have Sara? Sometimes you need more than just one or even two.

      December 14th, 2011 12:43 pm Reply
  • Gail

    >>Fear is a very effective strategy<<

    The fear of man is a snare…Proverbs 29:25

    December 14th, 2011 12:38 pm Reply
  • Kaley Wirthlin via Facebook

    used accupressure for my second!! awesome :) i love acupuncture too!

    December 14th, 2011 12:38 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    Interesting about the pitocin. I was induced with my second son and it was the best labor I had. He was born 5 hours later. We had no problems, and I think the labor was less painful than with my third son. My third was a week late, and that was a bad labor. It was only 3 hours long but it hurt very badly. I was not induced with him. Thanks for posting the information.

    December 14th, 2011 12:38 pm Reply
  • Shady Lady

    So many things I wish I had know…. My water broke at 37 weeks exactly. I was, of course, told that it’s dangerous to go past 24 hours with that. I tried to wait, but I wasn’t going into labor and yes, they used fear to get me to take pitocin. I held out as long as I could before giving in. And yes, that led to an epidural because the contractions were so painful and intense and back to back, that after 6 hours of contractions my body couldn’t relax enough to dilate. Thankfully, after the epidural things progressed well enough to avoid a c-section. And now I have a beautiful 8 year old. Still, this was not my dream birth…and I’m only having one. Then there were the breastfeeding problems (mastitis 4 times in 6 weeks), but that’s a whole other story.

    December 14th, 2011 12:37 pm Reply
  • PattyLA

    I had acupuncture while in labor with my first to make the labor stronger and more effective. I was in labor for 17 hours at home and was still stuck at 1. Sadly I ended up going to the hospital because of a suspected complication that resolved itself w/o intervention while riding in the car on the way there. My m/w now recomends a car ride for women in similar situations. #2 was a week past my due date when I started acupuncture induction. My friend is a TCM practitioner and came to my house to do induction 4 times in a week. It also didn’t work but I did go into labor 2 days after my last induction visit and had that baby two days after that, one day shy of 42 weeks. Also a hospital transfer from a planned home birth, this time because I was having trouble pushing her out (very big baby with a very big head, but she came out w/o help eventually).
    I had the odd experience of going to church with both a nurse who urged me to go in for an induction asap once I got past 41 weeks and a woman who had all of her babies at 44 weeks and thought I was a little strange to be even mentioning that I was past that 40 week mark.
    My experience with the induction was that it was quite uncomfortable, used several needles and produced lots of contractions that then petered out. My body/baby weren’t ready till they were ready. I don’t think doing it was the wrong thing and I wish it would have worked for me like it has worked for so many other women. I also went to my chiropractor many times and even had a professional maternity massage where she rubbed those inductions spots in the last couple of weeks.

    December 14th, 2011 12:26 pm Reply
  • hh

    I, too, was pressured by all the doctor’s in the practice BEFORE my due date approached to consider an induction. In fact, on my actual due date, they wanted to schedule an induction. It was embarrassing how they sent in all four of the doctors to try and “warn” (read badger, intimidate, whatever word you think fits here) me about the dangers of going over my due date. I was even told that if I hadn’t delivered within the week, then I would have to come in everyday for an hour while they monitored the baby’s heart beat. Considering that I felt wonderful and had no issues whatsoever throughout the entire pregnancy, I stuck to my guns. I had a normal delivery with no complications 10 days later, and then promptly changed my doctor thereafter.

    December 14th, 2011 12:26 pm Reply
  • Courtney Simcox

    How awesome! I wish more women knew about the dangers of interventions. My cousin was told by her doctors that “normal people don’t go into labor by themselves anymore.” They actually told her that!! And she didn’t change doctors! So they scheduled her for early induction for NO reason, with pitocin and epidural and all that. Makes me so sad. Luckily my boy came on his due date with no intervention whatsoever!

    December 14th, 2011 12:22 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Abnormal, interventionist birth is the new normal which is why clueless OBs spout this type of nonsense.

      December 14th, 2011 12:24 pm Reply
  • cmh

    After six babies all of whom were “late” I think I’ve finally come to realize that babies come when they are ready. My fourth was my latest at three weeks late and while I love acupuncture and have used it very successfully in pregnancy and birth, I tried it (along with any other safe “natural” method I could think of) with my fourth baby to no avail, I remained pregnant for a whole week longer. Babies know when they are ready. If a care provider pushes any type of induction, even “natural” interventions, (unless the baby is in obvious distress) find a new provider!

    December 14th, 2011 12:15 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      The problem is that in some states, induction is required after a certain period of time. Sometimes more than one acupuncture treatment is required to get labor going as well, I should add.

      December 14th, 2011 12:23 pm Reply
      • Raquel

        In Canada they induce after 10 days past the due date!

        December 14th, 2011 12:25 pm Reply
      • cmh

        Yes that’s a sad reality of our times. In our state Dr.s and licensed midwives are not allowed to let a woman go past 43 weeks but thankfully here we still have the option of using unlicensed midwives who choose to remain unlicensed in order to allow women more choices. Sadly there are many who are actively working to take that right away from us.

        and I did try several treatments 😉 some babies are just happy where they are.

        December 14th, 2011 1:28 pm Reply
        • Beth

          That’s right — sadly there are many who are actively working to take that right away from us by passing laws requiring licensure for all kinds of things, especially natural health modalities (nutrition, acupuncture, massage therapy, you name it). It’s always presented under the guise of “public safety” but it actually is done to promote one group at the exclusion of others (and with the officially sanctioned group, the profits surrounding their approved education, required purchase of insurance, etc.). It’s a big issue that most people don’t know about. You can learn more and help out here:

          December 14th, 2011 2:15 pm Reply
  • Soli @ I Believe In Butter

    I have a friend who’s an acupuncturist, will have to show her this post. What great information!

    December 14th, 2011 12:14 pm Reply
  • Raquel

    I had this done as well. The needles were place around my ankles and it was not painfull at all! I had one treatment and the lady told me that I could come in for another treatment if it didn’t work. I had this done about 4 days past my due date after my OB said that they would have to induce me after 10 days late. I though no way! I went into labor prob about 12 hrs after the one treatment. My labor was under 4 hrs completely drug and intervention free which was great since my first child had been around 20 hrs, with an epidural and they had to break my water. I wish more women knew about this! I told a pregnant friend and she said that her Dr. didn’t recommend it, what a joke!

    December 14th, 2011 12:08 pm Reply
  • Trish Neverdatamineme via Facebook

    I actually had someone use acupressure to induce labor for me.

    December 14th, 2011 12:03 pm Reply
  • Bethany Brown via Facebook

    Acupuncture has also been shown to help with infertility. Some insurance companies require 10 acupuncture sessions before they will pay for IVF.

    December 14th, 2011 11:53 am Reply
  • Doug

    I think the reason it’s not done more often is that people just don’t know it’s an option. I’ve had many long-time patients (I’m an acupuncturist) that have come in for all sorts of problems, but never even concidered that we can help out in areas besides pain. Also, doctors work with the tools they have – drugs and surgery for the most part.

    On a side note, and in my experience, acupuncture is not effective to induce early. Many women are so uncomfortable during the last few weeks pregnancy, they often ask to induce a “week early.” Sorry ladies, it just doesn’t seem to work that way.

    December 14th, 2011 11:41 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Makes sense that acupuncture would only work when the baby is ready to come. Thanks for posting and sharing your wisdom!

      December 14th, 2011 11:49 am Reply
  • Sarah Kinney Wilbur via Facebook

    Really! Wow, I had not known this! And I searched and searched for help with natural induction. Had to be induced 2 x’s for a rare liver condition…Cholestasis of Pregnancy. I changed my diet and used herbs/supplements to help 2nd time. Huge change. I am all for natural as much as humanly possible! Saving this. Thank you.

    December 14th, 2011 11:33 am Reply
  • Michelle Taylor via Facebook

    The most amazing treatment I have ever had. I actually felt my baby move into postion after having a couple of treatments . I used it to prepare for labour before the due date of my second child after having a 28 hour labour and being induced with my first. The labour with my second child was only 3 hours. I only wish more people would try it.

    December 14th, 2011 11:31 am Reply
  • Keria Ann Schmeida via Facebook

    Well, I’ll have to keep that in mind. I’m 13 weeks pregnant now. =)

    December 14th, 2011 11:27 am Reply
  • Nichol Miller via Facebook

    Works great to augment a stalled or irregular labor as well.

    December 14th, 2011 11:23 am Reply
  • Kenny Friedman via Facebook

    that dress makes you look pregnant.

    December 14th, 2011 11:17 am Reply
    • Ariel


      December 20th, 2011 8:38 pm Reply
  • Allison

    Wow – very interesting. I just had my first child in March and the week OF my due date, they were already scheduling me for an induction to days after the due date — thankfully my baby came on his one, right on his due date.

    I am curious, Sarah, were you on a traditional foods diet prior to when you started having children?

    December 14th, 2011 11:06 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I ate organic produce and bread and antibiotic/steroid free meats for years before having my first child but it wasn’t until shortly after my first child that I learned about the benefits of raw dairy and cod liver oil etc.

      December 14th, 2011 11:33 am Reply

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