The body can bare only up to 45 Del (unit) of Pain.  Yet at a time of giving birth a mother feels up to 57 Del (unit) of pain.  This is similar to 20 bones getting crushed at a time {YIKES!!!!}, whether it’s because you like things to be pre-planned and you like to know what you’re in for or whether you’d rather opt for a “wake me up when it’s over”, you’ll probably have to deal with a much longer recovery time then with vaginal birth.


So you can expect to wait at least four to six weeks before you start to feel semi-normal again. In addition to the soreness you’ll feel at the incision site, you’ll be dealing with exhaustion (from the operation and sleep deprivation), after pains (as your uterus contracts), and a whole other bag of chips…


In one study, published in the Chinese Medical Journal in 2009, researchers from Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan assigned 60 women who had undergone C-sections either to a control group or to a group that received pain treatment via acupuncture or electro-acupuncture. They found that compared with the control group, women in the acupuncture group had significantly lower pain scores in the two hours following surgery, requested morphine an average of 10 minutes later, and used 30 to 35 percent less morphine within the first 24 hours after surgery. They also experienced significantly fewer opioid-related side effects.


How soon can I start with Acupuncture?

An acupuncture session post cesarean birth can take place as soon as the woman is comfortable enough to get to the office to receive a treatment.  In China, acupuncture is currently being used during a C-section for anesthesia (along with pharmaceutical anesthesia) and post operatively immediately after surgery. The sooner the acupuncture can be administered the better.  That said, women still have resolution of numbness in the surgical site with acupuncture many years after the birth.

shutterstock_148466006How does it work?

The acupuncture treatment requires small, stainless steel needles both at the surgical site and along the meridians, most likely on the legs and hands. The ear is also an area that may be used in treatment as it is a model, or micro system, of the whole body and can treat the surgical site as well. Needles are retained for 20-40 minutes during which time mom may nap and deeply relax. The amount of treatments requires varies depending on the severity of the incision and the ability of the patient to rest and heal.

Women preparing for VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) can greatly benefit from using acupuncture to prepare for a subsequent pregnancy and birth. The best time to use acupuncture is prior to becoming pregnant again, which allows the acupuncturists to most effectively treat the uterus and break down scar tissue.  Once pregnant, there are benefits to using acupuncture to prepare for VBAC as well.