Some women are aware of the most likely date of conception of their child, however many women, especially those with less regular cycles, are not able to clearly identify a conception date. For this reason most doctors will initially calculate a due date as 40 weeks from the date of a woman’s last period, however this is likely to be around two weeks earlier than the full 40 weeks gestation.
A more accurate due date can be obtained through ultrasound scanning which looks at the size of the baby and the development of the placenta amongst other factors. However, even ultrasounds are based on broad estimates and it is a fact of life that some pregnancies go on longer than others.
If a pregnancy goes over 42 weeks (however that time period is measured) then hospitals will normally book the mother for an induction. However, according to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence this is not always medically necessary unless the baby is showing signs of distress. Such signs can be the presence of meconium, altered Heartbeat, lack of fluid, and a number of other factors that a midwife and doctor will consider. Safety is always the first priority, but if all is well with your health and your baby’s health then continued monitoring rather than induction may also be an option.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and labour
Because of the way Traditional Chinese Medicine views different types of Qi (energy) and the way they affect the body there are acupuncture points that are thought to bring on labour. However, because Traditional Chinese Medicine is thought to work with the body rather than against it, a properly administered acupuncture treatment will not cause labour to come on earlier than it naturally should.
Naava Carman will only ever administer such an acupuncture treatment in a healthy pregnancy after the medically advised estimated due date. Treatments involve the placing of acupuncture needles in specific points in the hands, feet and lower back, and may include massaging of acupuncture points in the shoulders. The needles are left in for up to 30 minutes per treatment, during which the mother might experience mild contractions and feel the baby move. The treatment may be repeated over a period of three to five days if labour has not started.
There has been an interesting study originating in New Zealand which appears to confirm that pre-birth acupuncture treatment increases the chances of a prompt labour. Please click here to see more infromation about this study.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complementary therapy and the Fertility Support Company does not advocate it as an alternative to Western medicine. If you are in any doubt about your health or symptoms you are experiencing you should consult your doctor. The Fertility Support Company and its practitioners do not claim to induce birth or to “cure” any ailment.