Harefuah 2015; 154 (1): 47-51, 67, 66
By Amir N

INTRODUCTION: According to Chinese medicine, a correct balance of Qi (energy) and quantity of blood are vital in order to commence labor and continue the childbirth process. Correspondingly, there are two main reasons for a delayed or difficult childbirth: lack of Qi and blood or stagnation of Qi and blood.

AIM: Efficacy comparison of Chinese medicine's inducement methods to conventional methods and to the combination of both.

METHODS: Retrospective study with 80 women participating aged 22-40, who required labor inducement. The study group consisted of 50 women who received Chinese medicine's inducement treatment (Shiatsu and/or Acupuncture) prior to and/or during hospitalization. The control group consisted of 30 women who received customary hospital labor inducement methods. All the women received the questionnaires between one month to 10 years after childbirth.

RESULTS: Significant correlation was found between Chinese medicine inducement methods (Shiatsu/Acupuncture) and reduction of additional interventions throughout the birth process, when these were given during hospitalization (x2=47.29, d.f.=21, p=0.001). Correlation close to significant was found when inducement was given prior to hospitalization, especially when labor was induced by Shiatsu (x2=16.8, d.f.=9, p=0.052). An outstanding difference was found in shortening the birth process time (MS=0.45, F(6,72)=2.505, p=0.029) when combining Chinese medicine and conventional inducement methods (medicinal/mechanical).

CONCLUSIONS: Study results show that Chinese medicine inducement methods, whether or not combined with conventional methods, are an important and effective tool in their ability to reduce the extent of intervention throughout the birth process and also in reducing delivery completion interventions.

SUMMARY: Significant difference was found in shortening labor process when inducement treatment combined both Chinese medicine and conventional methods, in comparison to conventional inducement alone {medicinal/mechanical). This is an important result considering the high availability and low cost of Chinese treatment, and especially because it is a non-harmful method of inducement.