Debra Betts - Acupuncture and Acupressure for Pregnancy and Childbirth


Testimonials from Midwives are available at the bottom of the page.

Comments from Women and their Partners

Sarah Doherty, Wellington

"I found using acupressure during labour brilliant. Having used acupressure I wouldn't even consider being in labour without it. The difference was amazing - I felt a lot calmer and able to cope and much more relaxed. It was really good for me to have my partner so closely involved with each contraction - I felt connected and supported. Acupressure helped me stay focused and calm. Acupressure is safe, effective, natural and I was in control. An ideal pain management technique."

Cathryn Skumiewski, Wellington

"When I went into labour with my second child, I used the acupressure points thinking they would take the edge off the pain at least. It wasn't until I had a contraction while my husband was loading the car that I realised just how effective they were! They halved the pain and allowed me to feel more in control of things. It was easy to learn them and meant my husband got to do something very useful during the birth. The labour felt much quicker since the contractions didn't feel as bad as the first labour, right up to transition, which meant I only used the acupressure points and didn't need any other pain relief."

Ruth Oliver, Wellington

"The simple technique of Acupressure enabled me to get through a short sharp labour without artificial pain relief. It also helped my partner to play an active part in the birth of our son - I've been recommending it flat out since my most positive experience with it! "

Mark Derby, Wellington

"At first I was very cynical about acupressure's ability to relieve the pain of childbirth, but as soon as my partner's contractions began, it was obvious that this was really effective. She almost seemed to enjoy the contractions, as long as I was pressing very hard indeed on the right spots and not letting up for an instant. This was also the ideal way for me to feel fully involved in the birth and not get too panicky. We had a trouble-free, doctor-free labour and birth and we now have a beautiful, healthy, happy son. I'd recommend acupressure to anyone having a baby."

Nicloa Douglas

My Husband used acupressure on GB 21 during contractions while filling our birthing pool. I found it really grounding, allowing my breathing to stay slow and focused. It was so relaxed compared to feeling out of control last time. The combination of the pool and acupressure was just awesome.

Melissa Crowder

My second child was an induced delivery because he was overdue and getting large. I was afraid that I would not be able to deliver him without pain meds because I had heard so many stories of how much worse the contractions would be with the pitocin (compared to the natural labour I experienced with my first baby). Well, with the help of acupressure done by my husband, I was able to deliver without pain meds. I was absolutely amazed by how much it helped me. We used it all the way through and it really helped my husband with staying calm and focused and gave him a good way to participate and help with the delivery.

Liz Gray

I used acupressure points during my labour five and a half years ago. I consider that labour to be one of the most excellent and meaningful events of my life, and I attribute it at least in part to the info on acupressure I gained from your website. I fully support the testimonials from others on the site - they mirror my own experiences.

Christy Lindsey

All three of my children were born naturally. However, I used BL 32 this last time and the difference was amazing! I was shopping when I felt a back pain. After returning home, I remembered the acupressure points and even though I did not know if I was in labour, decided to try them just in case. I really liked using BL 32. I was able to hold them myself and did for every contraction. I used one thumb on each point or my fingers and thumb of one hand if my other hand was busy which it often was.

Labour actually lasted about 5 hours, but I did not finally realize I was in labour until about the last hour! All morning I stayed busy. I cooked breakfast, helped my husband, and finally blew up a birthing pool when I finally realized it was happening. As I was planning a homebirth I also did some house cleaning, all the while holding BL 32 during each pain. The amazing thing was that I never had any long contractions and they never got terribly painful. I know what hard labour feels like because I experienced it with my other two births, but I never did with this one! When I went outside and started vomiting (which I always do close to birth) my husband called the midwife. I came back in and felt like I had to use the bathroom. I sat down, my waters broke, and three contractions later, the baby was born! I am still amazed by my fast, easy labour. The other times I had those long, painful contractions that required my full concentration. This time, I kept busy trying right up until birth.

My last two boys were also born after three contractions, so I can't credit the acupressure with that. However, previously I had 15 hours of labour to get to that point, with the last few hours or so consisting of the long, painful contractions and a very intense transition. So now, I'm giving copies of the points to every pregnant woman I know! I sure would like to see more women using these points and not drugs, for pain relief. We would have healthier moms and babies. I'm super thankful I found them!!!

Harel Golombek

I have 4 children. The youngest is one and a half months old, and I had the wonderful opportunity of practicing acupressure on my wife (BL 32) during the long hours in the labour room with her. I was amazed to witness with my own eyes (and ears) the relieving effect my treatment had on her. She told me later that it halved the pain for her during contractions.

Comments from Midwives

Sue Lennox, Midwife

My experience of using acupressure for women in labour has been very positive. The more independent women can be in their labour, the happier most are in their abilities to birth. Many women have expressed satisfaction at their partners being able to give them the bulk of their support in labour If I find that a woman is holding her shoulders tightly, I encourage shoulder massage using GB 21 from 37 weeks to help the baby’s head descend. In preparation for labour I show the support person the points to press on the sacrum and shoulders (BL 32 and GB 21). The other effective use of acupressure is when the woman is 41 weeks, wants to be in labour and is happy to start the process slowly over two or three days. At this point the induction points (L.I. 4 and SP 6) can be stimulated regularly and are generally extremely effective if practised diligently.

Grace Pillary, Midwife

I have on many occasions used acupressure in labour. The use of SP 6 and BL 60 has worked well for me in situations where the baby's head is not coming down as it should. I have also used these acupressure points with malpositioned and deflexed heads and have achieved excellent results.

Angelique Baker, Midwife

Whilst working on delivery suite a distressed woman arrived in labour with ruptured membranes. This was her first baby and her labour was progressing well. On initial assessment I examined her to find her 7-8cm dilated. She went onto all fours and began to become extremely distressed. I used my midwifery techniques to encourage her and offered her the gas to try to help her to focus but she was wasting a lot of energy panicking, telling her self and me, that she could not go through with this labour She was progressing far too quickly to administer pethedine or an epidural. As she was clearly not coping I used acupressure on KID 1. Nearly immediately as I lay my fingers in the spot and applied pressure the woman stopped talking closed her eyes and breathed through the contraction beautifully. She expressed how the pressure I was applying was really enjoyable. I kept the pressure through the next contraction, and again, the woman was like another person. The result was immediate, and highly effective. I instructed the partner to use two pens to apply the pressure firmly and the woman within the next half hour began to push instinctively. She progressed to a peaceful vaginal birth on all fours where she remained after the application of the acupressure.

Matty van Oosterom midwife

I have been trying acupressure to GB 21 in second stage of labour in primigravida women (those women having their first baby) and have found it extremely helpful. It has definitely reduced the time they spend pushing. The first time I tried this acupressure point was with a woman 40 weeks gestation that had gone into labour spontaneously, she had a fairly normal first stage of labour with no pain relief. During pushing we tried many different positions, sitting on the toilet, standing, squatting, birthing stool. She had been pushing for nearly 2 hours we were only seeing a peep of the baby’s head, when I suddenly remembered the acupressure point. She was sitting on the birthing stool I applied strong pressure to her shoulders and within 5-10 minutes the descended and was delivered 3 contractions later. The next women I used this on was a women who was induced for postdates, she had an extremely quick first stage of labour, she was unsure about what was happening, uncoordinated and resisting pushing. I asked her husband to put firm pressure on GB 21 and pronto the baby dropped into the pelvis (this was actually visible) two contractions later baby was born. I find a lot of primigravidas are very fearful during the pushing stage and often tend to hold back. Acupressure on GB 21 has helped women focus and able to push much more effectively.