Researchers at Queen’s University and the University of Alberta in Canada, have investigated the effectiveness of acupuncture for assisting in the initiation and duration of labour.
Sixteen pregnant women at full term, were randomly assigned to receive acupuncture either at sites traditionally used to bring on labour, or at nearby sham sites. The results showed that women in the true acupuncture group on average went into labour 62 hours ahead of the sham group, and also experienced labours which were on average two hours and twenty minutes shorter. Patients reported that the experience of undergoing acupuncture provided them with a sense of control over the outcome of their pregnancy and that they enjoyed their interaction with the acupuncturists.
(Effectiveness of Acupuncture for the Initiation of Labour at Term: A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial. Journal of Gynaecology & Obstetrics of Canada, December 2008.)