Labor induction is a very common procedure for pregnant women past their due date, but it also has quite a few opponents. A new study is examining the use of acupuncture as a natural means of labor induction.

Many pregnant women have experienced the frustration of going over their expected due date.  When they pass the 41st week, however, the situation becomes dangerous for mother and child. Usually, at this point doctors intervene with medical procedures to induce labor. These procedures sometimes cause complications.

Staff in Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, Israel, have been conducting an experiment together with the Reidman Center for Complementary Medicine using acupuncture as a means of inducing labor.  Yahav Mendel, an expert in acupuncture, explains to his patient, “I am going to place needles which will increase the blood flow, calm your spirit and relax the muscles.”

While studies between the connection of acupuncture and labor induction have been done abroad in the past, their findings were inconclusive. If this study in Israel succeeds, it means there is a method for inducing labor without side effects. Anat gave birth 6 months ago after receiving acupuncture. “I had natural childbirth, without an epidural.”

“We are constantly meeting women who have had acupuncture and want to know if it will help them with birth,” explains Dr. Tal Biron from Meir Hospital. Dr. Liat Idry of the Reidman Center adds, “Here we have all the statistics to give scientific proof that inducing labor can be aided by acupuncture.”

Dr. Miller explains to Liat that every two days until the 41st week, she will undergo acupuncture to see if there is an effect on her birth. Most only feel a bit of an electric flow in them. The hospital is currently looking for more women in their 40th week to take part in the study.