How To Use Acupressure Throughout Labor

Whether or not you might be hoping for an unmedicated birth or need an epidural, it’s best to plan how you’ll handle labor ache. Having a superb assist group and pain management strategies will help you get by way of every contraction and one step nearer to assembly your child. One ache administration technique is acupressure throughout labor. Acupressure could also be used to assist labor progress and presumably even naturally induce labor. Right here we are going to have a look at what acupressure is, the way it works, and how you can use it in labor.1

Acupressure falls beneath the umbrella of conventional Chinese language medication, which goals to control or modify an individual’s thoughts and physique to seek out steadiness. Conventional Chinese language medication is believed to assist with ache, steadiness points, nausea, anxiousness, and extra.2,3

Acupressure is like localized therapeutic massage — it applies stimulation to particular spots on the physique utilizing arms, fingers, or thumbs. Average stress and typically a rubbing movement is utilized at these factors. Every acupressure level is recognized and linked to channels and organs inside the physique.4

Making use of acupressure to particular factors on the physique could stimulate pure oxytocin launch and reduce stress hormones. Oxytocin could assist to induce or increase labor, and decreased stress may reduce your resistance or inhibition to labor.5

Research differ on whether or not acupressure is profitable in serving to to get labor began, however it might assist put together the cervix for when labor does start. Nonetheless, one other examine concluded that acupressure doesn’t ripen the cervix or induce labor.6,7

A number of research have proven that acupressure, in contrast with both no intervention or solely contact, can shorten the complete length of labor. Significantly, it may possibly shorten the pushing phase of labor.7,8,9,10

Maybe acupressure shortens labor as a result of it helps with ache aid, permitting the physique to chill out and the cervix to dilate extra shortly. Many research completely different acupressure factors on the physique have demonstrated that acupressure reduces labor ache when in comparison with no intervention or contact alone.7,8,10

One other examine confirmed that acupressure reduces labor ache however is much more efficient when mixed with therapeutic massage.11

There may be little danger in making an attempt acupressure to induce labor at time period, shorten labor, or scale back labor ache. The stress shouldn’t be arduous sufficient to trigger ache on the web site. Urgent too arduous could trigger bruising or, in extreme circumstances, inner bleeding.12

Since sure acupressure factors could induce labor, these factors needs to be averted earlier than your being pregnant has reached full time period to keep away from the chance of preterm labor.

Accessing sure acupressure factors could require you to stay in a selected place. This may be uncomfortable throughout labor. For instance, one examine required laboring moms to relaxation on their backs with their legs straight throughout contractions whereas a practitioner utilized acupressure. Some laboring girls discover it tough to lie on their backs throughout contractions.5

Making an attempt acupressure throughout labor does little hurt; you may cease at any time. Even when acupressure doesn’t work to alleviate ache or shorten your labor, it may no less than be value a attempt!

So, you will have executed the analysis and may need to attempt acupressure throughout labor. Right here’s what to do.

Recruit your companion, a doula, or your labor and delivery nurse that can assist you. You might be able to carry out acupressure to your self if you’re snug sufficient and succesful, and the factors are inside attain. Nonetheless, this might not be straightforward if you’re in active labor, so getting ready with a group member is sweet.

2. Establish and Mark Your Factors

Establish the stress factors by yourself physique. You may mark them so a helper is aware of the place to press them. You determine acupressure factors utilizing your personal physique as reference measurements. Some factors to focus on throughout labor embrace:13

  • SP6, which lies three thumb widths above the inside ankle5
  • SP9, discovered within the despair within the decrease inside knee5
  • LI4, within the crevice between your thumb and index finger10,14
  • BL32, discovered simply contained in the dimples on both aspect slightly below the bottom of your backbone14
  • BL60, situated between the outer ankle and the Achilles tendon5
  • BL67, which is discovered simply exterior the skin of the pinky toe5
  • GB21, the place your neck meets your shoulders5

Use the gentle pad of your thumbs throughout every labor contraction to use average stress. You may maintain fixed stress or gently therapeutic massage that particular level. Apply acupressure throughout labor to each matching factors on all sides concurrently. Maintain stress all through the contraction after which steadily launch. You may rotate by way of the completely different acupressure factors throughout every contraction to see which of them present you essentially the most assist and aid.

In case you are searching for pure and holistic methods that can assist you progress by way of labor and get by way of the ache, having completely different methods in place will help. While you hit a wall throughout labor, it’s good to have a brand new coping mechanism to attempt. As a result of acupressure is low-risk and has been confirmed efficient at lowering ache and rushing up labor, it may be a superb method earlier than turning to labor induction, augmentation, or an epidural.

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