A DVD/download is now available which demonstrates acupressure techniques for labour.
Perfect for pregnant women and their partners, as well as health professionals working
with pregnant women.
For more information on the DVD click here.
Acupressure To Induce Labour
The term "waters breaking" refers to the rupture of the membranes surrounding the
baby and the gush or the leaking of amniotic fluid through the vagina. Although
a significant sign of early labour, labour will not always automatically commence.
Due to a possible risk of infection a medical induction will be considered if labour
does not establish spontaneously.
Women need to notify their midwife or doctor immediately if their waters are discoloured
that is, if they notice a brownish /greenish appearance to the amniotic fluids.
If a woman's membranes have ruptured Hegu L.I.-4, Sanyinjiao SP-6 and Ciliao BL-32
can be used to help establish labour.
Hegu L.I.-4 can be used in combination with Sanyinjiao SP-6 with the woman or her
support person applying firm pressure to each point for several minutes at hourly
or 2 hourly intervals. All four acupressure points can be used, or for practical
purposes Hegu LI.-4 on one hand can be used in combination with the Sanyinjiao SP-6
point of the opposite leg. This combination can be repeated 1- 2 hours later starting
with Hegu L.I.-4 on the opposite hand.
Ciliao BL-32 can also be used in combination with Hegu L.I.-4 and Sanyinjiao SP-6
with the support person applying firm downward stokes from Ciliao BL-32 through
to the buttocks for 5 minutes once or twice a day
Acupressure Prior To A Medical Induction
If it is seen as necessary by a woman's midwife or doctor to medically induce labour
the use of acupressure as outlined above can be commenced three days prior to the
medical induction. The aim of the acupressure is to help establish contractions
and promote cervical dilation. Even if labour does not commence spontaneously, feedback
from midwives suggest that a woman's cervix is more favourable following acupressure
and that there is an increased chance of a woman progressing through the induction
with minimal intervention.
Acupressure For A Social Induction
Social induction is a term I use to indicate that women are interested in trying
to induce labour around their due date for personal reasons. For example to coincide
with a family member visiting or their partner's work commitments.
It must be remembered that due dates do not actually indicate the exact day that
a baby will be born. It is only an indication of when a baby is due, in reality
it is estimated that only 4% of babies will actually arrive on their due date.
While acupressure can be seen as more "natural" than a medical induction it is still
an intervention. I would caution any women attempting to induce their labour for
any reason other than on a recommendation by her doctor or midwife. The mechanisms
that lie behind labour commencing are complex and while acupressure may be helpful
in stimulating contractions this does not guarantee labour will progress efficiently.