I was 38 weeks pregnant with significant edema and no sign of labor anytime soon (I was having no contractions and I was not dilated at all). My OB was already talking induction, as I was borderline pre-eclampsic with a protein level of 260 and moderately high blood pressure. I sought out acupuncture at the recommendation of my doula. I was lucky to get in at Indiana Reproductive Acupuncture right away. I visited IRA a total of three times. I had never had acupuncture before and didn’t know what to expect. I was surprised to feel something immediately. During each acupuncture session, my baby was more active than usual, which was exciting. For 24-48 hours after the acupuncture treatments, I felt minor contractions but not enough to send me into labor at that point.

After the first acupuncture treatment, I had my protein levels checked again and the lab could only find “trace amounts”. My blood pressure had also returned to normal so my OB backed off the talk of induction. With a new sense of calm, I decided to treat myself to a prenatal massage. My lower legs, feet and ankles were so severely swollen that it hurt and had limited range of motion. I just wanted a bit of relief before I went into labor. I had an appointment with Sandra, who was miraculously able to massage the swelling out of my feet and ankles in just one session. It was an amazing difference and it was wonderful to be able to move my toes again! The massage kept my swelling at bay for about a week.

The day before my due date, I had my third acupuncture treatment.  That evening, I began having very mild contractions. They were inconsistent, but certainly noticeable enough to keep me from sleeping well. The next morning (my due date), I had a massage appointment. Sandra was able to massage away the swelling again in just an hour’s time. She also pushed on some pressure points and I immediately had some pretty intense contractions on the table. I continued to have more and more intense contractions as the day went on and I ended up going into labor on my own! My water broke at 2:20 a.m. and I had my baby at 6:08 p.m. A nasty side-effect of the long labor was that my swelling returned with a vengeance. I called Indiana Reproductive Acupuncture and made an appointment with Sandra, who graciously came to the hospital to give me a massage.

I couldn’t be happier with the results of both the acupuncture and massage treatments I received. IRA is amazing!

Sarah