Acupressure for labour | Acupuncture in pregnancy Melbourne

Acupressure for labour and pregnancy

Acupressure for labour is based on the same principals as acupuncture in pregnancy (in Chinese medicine), but instead of inserting needles, you are able to apply pressure to the body with your fingers or a pressure point tool (such as the end of a pen or a wooden spoon).

If you are looking for help with acupuncture for pregnancy in Melbourne, you may find these pressure points useful for labour too!

What can acupuncture do? Find out more about acupuncture in labour induction preparation here.

Each acupuncture point on the body has it’s own function, and below are the points specific for their applied actions through labour.

Much like acupuncture in pregnancy, these acupoints stimulate the nervous system and may be useful in helping to relieve stress, pain and fatigue through the natural labour process, during a c-section or in a medicated labour.

Why I suggest using acupressure for induction

There are many great points to use in acupressure for labour induction, for a variety of reasons. These pressure points are also useful for birthing partners to be able to help contribute to the process. As seen by their individual functions, these acupressure points are able to help reduce pain, manage contractions and calm the mind.

Combined with acupuncture in pregnancy, acupressure in labour could be a great tool to get you both mentally and physically prepared for the marathon that is labour!

Interested in acupuncture? Find out more about acupuncture in pregnancy Melbourne here

How to apply acupressure for pregnancy

Please note that this is not a massage, and we do not want to add more pain to the birthing mother. Therefore, a firm pressure held on the point bilaterally (both sides of the body) is best.

As this is not a drug but natural pain relief, it may take time and you may need to try the different points to find what suits at different stages in labour. You may even find that the mother will feel different things before and during labour.

You can hold for as long as needed and ensure you are getting feedback from mum, whether vocal or through body language, to make sure your pressure is still comfortable and useful for her.

Remember you can use your fingers, knuckles and elbows to apply pressure, plus use a tool such as a pen, the handle of a wooden spoon, a Chinese soup spoon, or whatever you have that does the trick!

What acupressure points are good in labour?

Shoulder point: Gallbladder 21

Gallbladder 21 acupressure for labour

This point is positioned on the very top of the shoulder, about halfway from the tip of the shoulder to the spine.

This point is used to help descend, or as I like to think about it as the ‘eject button.’ Birthing partners are able to use firm pressure into these points in order to ‘push the baby down.’ ( This won’t actually force the baby out, so don’t be afraid to use this one!) Therefore, it is very useful to stimulate uterine contractions and when the mother is pushing.

Lower back acupressure points for labour induction

Lower back acupressure for labour pain

These points are on the very low back, over the sacrum, at the beginning of the top of the bum cheeks.

These points on the lower back are very helpful to relieve pain and pressure during contractions and said to have an ‘anaesthetic’ effect whilst pressure is applied. There will be slight depressions felt under the fingers at the lower back, over the sacrum.

If there is a sharp pain felt, you haven’t got the right spot, so please move around until either a numbness, tingling or aching feeling is felt. Then you know you have the right position.

On the hand: Large Intestine 4

Acupuncture in pregnancy Melbourne

LI 4 is located between the thumb and forefinger, on the meaty area between the fingers.

This point can be pressed by either the woman in labour or support person, generally with the thumb, which creates an aching sensation. It is used for general pain relief as well as stimulating contractions, which may be useful if contractions become irregular.

Above the ankle: Spleen 6

Spleen 6 acupoint for pregnancySP 6 Acupuncture in pregnancy

 

This point is located on the inner ankle, about a hands width above the ankle bone.

This acupressure point has traditionally been used to help the cervix dilate and increase contractions.  Due to this function, if labour slows down or is not progressing well, you may hold firm pressure to this point for a minute, then again if 20-30 minutes if needed. You will know if you have found the point if it is tender to press on.

Below the ankle: Bladder 60

Bladder 60 point for labour induction

This point is located on the outside ankle, just a little back from the ankle bone ( close to the tendon).

Your support person is able to apply firm pressure to this point which is located in the hollow of the ankle on the outside of the leg, however, you may grip and apply pressure to the ankles. Bladder 60 is traditionally used for its ability to promote the descent of the baby as well as reducing pain.

On the sole of the foot: Kidney 1

Acupuncture in pregnancy Melbourne

This point can be pressed with either the thumb or a knuckle.

It is the main point to calm due to its relaxing effect, especially if there is stress or panic arising in the mother. Some mothers will use seasickness bands around their feet in order to stimulate this point when they walk, or to make it easier for a birth partner to locate.

When you can use acupressure for labour 

For effective relief, it is best to start as early as possible in the labour and is said to give maximum benefit when commenced at the beginning of labour. These points are contraindicated (not advised) through pregnancy due to their functions of increasing contractions, therefore, do not start acupressure on these points until at least 37 weeks.

Although acupressure is amazing in helping through labour, it is a complementary technique and should not be used instead of western medical intervention if it’s needed.

If you and your birthing partner would like to find out more about acupuncture in pregnancy in Melbourne, feel free to book an appointment where our practitioners. One of our Chinese medicine doctors would be happy to walk you through acupressure in labour and acupuncture in pregnancy, so that you are both more confident going into birth.

Start practising acupressure for labour beforehand so that you are both ready for when the time comes!

 

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Bookings for acupressure for labour

Book online here or phone the clinic on (03) 8394 7665 to book your acupuncture treatment today.

 

Needing acupuncture in pregnancy Melbourne? We are easy to get to!

Qi Medicine acupuncture in Moonee Ponds: Find us on Google maps here:

Qi Medicine Acupuncture Moonee PondsThe clinic is located at Suite 4, Level 1, 151 Pascoe Vale Rd, Moonee Ponds. (Please ensure you take the ground floor elevator to reach us or level one.)

We provide acupuncture in pregnancy Melbourne to the North Western suburbs of Melbourne and are close to Highpoint. Qi Medicine acupuncture is minutes away from Ascot Vale, Essendon, Avondale Heights, Maribyrnong, and Brunswick West. We also service many clients with acupuncture and Chinese medicine in Travancore, Flemington, Aberfeldie, Maidstone, and we are just 10 km from Melbourne city.

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Original illustrations by Tina Young via Deborah Betts https://acupuncture.rhizome.net.nz/media/cms_page_media/133/Acupressure.pdf

About the author
Dr. Zoe Rankin Ba. H. Sc (Acupuncture) Registered Chinese medicine doctor at | Website

Dr. Zoe is a dedicated, compassionate doctor of Chinese medicine.
She has studied from and worked along-side some of the most experienced Chinese medicine doctors around the world, compiling the most effective and relevant treatments for her patients.

Zoe's passion lies in helping to solve the complex puzzle of health- whether it be what is causing your menstrual pain and irregularities, guiding women through all stages of pregnancy and birth, or simply relieving you of your chronic back pain. Zoe regularly publishes blogs for her followers based on the most relevant research to support her medicine.

Dr. Zoe's main areas of interest include:
• An interest in irregular and painful cycles, hormonal imbalances, and stress
• An interest in natural fertility and IVF
• Menopause and gynaecology
• Interest in pain management of any kind
• Cosmetic acupuncture and healthy aging
Zoe's qualifications and registrations include:
• Bachelor of health science, Chinese medicine (SSNM, Melbourne)
• Bachelor of Health Sciences, Curtin University of Technology, Bentley (WA)
• Registered with the Australian health practitioners regulation agency (AHPRA)
• Member of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA)

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