Danish clinicians carrying out the largest randomised controlled trial of acupuncture for relief of labour pain have found it to be a good supplement to existing pain relief methods, reducing the need for pharmacological and invasive methods during delivery. A randomised controlled trial was conducted with 607 healthy women in labour at term who received acupuncture, TENS, or traditional analgesics. Acupuncture was individualised, based on women’s mobility and localisation of pain, with points chosen from a list of 34 specified points. Although pain scores were comparable across the three groups, the use of pharmacological and invasive methods was significantly lower in the acupuncture group. Acupuncture did not influence the duration of labour or the use of oxytocin. In addition, indications of neonatal wellbeing (Apgar score and umbilical cord pH value) were significantly better among infants in the acupuncture group compared with infants in the other groups. (Acupuncture as pain relief during delivery: a randomized controlled trial. Birth. 2009 Mar;36(1):5-12).

Comments closed.