Can the ancient therapy Acupuncture help needle a woman into labor? First time mom-to-be Tiffany Shubert is helping researchers at the University of North Carolina find out.
Doctors often use drugs like Pitocin to trigger labor, lead researcher Dr. Terry Harper says acupuncture could be a less invasive option, "Come to [an] outpatient clinic..30 minute treatment and wait and see what happens. Which I think is easier and probably somewhat empowering for them." Acupuncture to trigger labor has long been a standard in chinese medicine, but even those who practice it, like Dr. Wunian Chen can't really explain how it works.
It is thought needles placed in certain points of the body affect an energy flow called Chi. Tiffany doesn't know if she's getting needles in the labor trigger points, but says she's hopeful. Researchers note side effects may include slight bruising at the needle points, most patients report feeling more relaxed, although still anxious for their new arrival!