It dramatically reduced the active phase of labour, although the women did not deliver the baby any sooner.
In a study of 100 pregnant women who were about to give birth, 48 were given acupuncture while the remainder had standard care. Those given acupuncture had an average active phase of 4.4 hours compared with 6.1 hours in the standard-care group. Delivery time was marginally better in the acupuncture group - 29.1 hours compared with 32.7 hours in the standard-care group - but researchers felt it was too slight to be significant.
(Source: Acta Obstretricia et Gynecologica, 2006;85:1348-53).
E-news broadcast 1 February 2007 No.330 [Subscribe]