Acupressure is an ancient Asian practice, derived fromacupuncture. Instead needles used in acupuncture, acupressure uses fingertipsto ease the pain and relieve stress. This technique relies on the theory thatcertain spots on the body correspond with different organs in the human body. Experiencedacupressure practitioners know where and how to press to provoke desiredeffect(s). Some locations on the body are known to be very efficient in womenwho are about to give birth. Pressurizing these spots may induce thechildbirth, 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, mostdoctors agree, and therefore, you shouldn’t try inducing the labor usingacupressure before that time. Also, many believe that nothing can affect thechildbirth until mom’s body is ready for it. The best solution is to consultyour doctor about acupressure and induced labor, just to be on the safe side.
Acupressure can be used when the due date has passed and thebaby hasn’t come out yet, or when the labor has just began and a womanwants to increase the strength of contractions. Additionally, when the amnioticfluid 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 reactas it should and the technique might not be good for you.
Inducing the Labor
You should feel only light pain when applying pressureto the acupressure points. Sensation is not unpleasantly painful, and mostwomen can endure the discomfort without any problem. Your midwife or doula mayhelp you to press specific point, but if you experience any real pain, stop thepressure instantly.
Hoku pressure point is located in the webbing between thethumb and the index finger. Find the juncture of the finger bones and you willeasily find this spot, also. To stimulate contractions rub this spot, but ifyou want to decrease labor pain, you should press firmly.
The muscle between the shoulder and the neck contains anotheracupressure 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 aspot known as spleen 6. This acupressure point is easily found between the Achillestendon and the ankle bone.
5 cm above the ankle bone, on the inner side of the leg isa point that can be used to stimulate the labor contractions.
The spot seen as small depression above the buttocks is yetanother acupressure spot. Press is from time to time to help with the labor.
Sometimes, acupressure can be done without the fingers. Use thetongue to press the roof of your mouth. This process should calm you down andhelp you induce the labor.