Acupuncture will alleviate labour pains in childbirth and can greatly assist any woman with a previous history of difficult labour. Any woman wishing to use this method of pain relief should consult an acupuncturist well before the birth date in order to build up a good patient-therapist relationship, but it is also necessary to obtain the approval of the midwife if it is a home birth, or the medical authorities if it is to take place in hospital.

There have been cases where hospitals were willing to allow an acupuncturist to assist at the birth, but only if they agree to sign an indemnity form which absolved the hospital of responsibility if any problems ensued. Naturally, since complications not connected with acupuncture are equally possible at any point during a delivery, therapists are reluctant to shoulder such a burden. Any woman who wishes to have acupuncture during labour will probably find it easier to arrange if she gives birth at home, with a sympathetic midwife as supervisor. General debility following labour can be effectively treated by herbal remedies.

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