Acupressure is an ancient Asian practice, derived from acupuncture. Instead needles used in acupuncture, acupressure uses fingertips to ease the pain and relieve stress. This technique relies on the theory that certain spots on the body correspond with different organs in the human body. Experienced acupressure practitioners know where and how to press to provoke desired effect(s). Some locations on the body are known to be very efficient in women who are about to give birth. Pressurizing these spots may induce the childbirth, but also decrease the pain during the labor.
Caution Measures about Acupressure for Labor
It is not safe for the baby to be born before 38 weeks, most doctors agree, and therefore, you shouldn’t try inducing the labor using acupressure before that time. Also, many believe that nothing can affect the childbirth until mom’s body is ready for it. The best solution is to consult your doctor about acupressure and induced labor, just to be on the safe side.
Acupressure can be used when the due date has passed and the baby hasn’t come out yet, or when the labor has just began and a woman wants to increase the strength of contractions. Additionally, when the amniotic fluid already broke but labor hasn’t become active, women may also apply someacupressure.
In general, acupressure should not be painful. If it is, stop the pressure immediately, because this suggests that your body doesn’t react as it should and the technique might not be good for you.
Inducing the Labor
You should feel only light pain when applying pressure to the acupressure points. Sensation is not unpleasantly painful, and most women can endure the discomfort without any problem. Your midwife or doula may help you to press specific point, but if you experience any real pain, stop the pressure instantly.
Hoku pressure point is located in the webbing between the thumb and the index finger. Find the juncture of the finger bones and you will easily find this spot, also. To stimulate contractions rub this spot, but if you want to decrease labor pain, you should press firmly.
The muscle between the shoulder and the neck contains another acupressure point. You can find it 2 cm below the highest point of the muscle, and that spot is usually sensed as the softest.
When a baby should move down into the pelvis, there is a spot known as spleen 6. This acupressure point is easily found between the Achilles tendon and the ankle bone.
5 cm above the ankle bone, on the inner side of the leg is a point that can be used to stimulate the labor contractions.
The spot seen as small depression above the buttocks is yet another acupressure spot. Press is from time to time to help with the labor.
Sometimes, acupressure can be done without the fingers. Use the tongue to press the roof of your mouth. This process should calm you down and help you induce the labor.