Debra Betts - Acupuncture and Acupressure for Pregnancy and Childbirth

Acupressure Points For Problems In Labour

There are a variety of reasons why problems may arise in labour. These acupressure points on many cases will promote a prompt response with labour becoming more efficient within ten minutes so that further intervention is no longer required. They are given in light of the positive feedback given by midwives who use them before progressing, when necessary, on to the appropriate medical interventions. They are intended as a tool to promote the body to labour more effectively, and in no circumstances should be used to delay medical intervention when it is deemed necessary by a midwife, doctor or specialist.

Posterior Position

The best position for a baby to fit easily through the pelvis is one termed an anterior position. This is when the back of the baby's head and its back face anterior towards the mother's abdomen. If lying slightly to the left it is termed LOA or Left Occipito Anterior, if lying to the right it is termed ROA or Right Occipito Anterior.

If the baby is lying with the back of its head and back facing posterior towards the mother's spine it is termed a posterior position. This can be LOP (Left Occipito Posterior) or ROP (Right Occipito Posterior). In either of these positions labour may become less efficient as the baby's head is not lying in an optimal position over the cervix, delaying progress as the cervix dilates. The woman will also feel increased back pain due to the baby's back being pressed up against her spine.

Women and support people may become aware that the baby is in a posterior position before labour commences from the antenatal palpation by the midwife or doctor, during the birth due to the back pain the women is experiencing or from the comments of their midwife or doctor.

The points below can be tried to help the baby turn into an anterior position during labour. Feedback from midwives suggests that if these points are useful labour will notably change with the contractions becoming more efficient and the back pain reducing within ten minutes.

Kunlun Bl-60 In Combination With Sanyinjiao Sp-6

These points can be used together, placing pressure on Kunlun BL-60 for up to two minutes followed by pressure to Sanyinjiao SP-6 for up to two minutes, preferably both legs are used so that in total four points are utilised.

Youtube for point location BL-60

Youtube point location video for SP-6


Zhiyin BL-67

This point lies on the little toe, just on the outside aspect of the toenail.

Youtube point location video for BL-67

Acupressure Technique

This point is usually stimulated by midwives using a very tiny needle on a plaster for each toe - termed press needles they are used by acupuncturists for ear acupuncture. In preparation for labour these may be able to be sourced from a local acupuncturist and taken into labour, just in case. When the baby presents in a posterior position during labour they can then be applied and left in place; if they feel uncomfortable they need to be repositioned. When using local pressure to stimulate the point the blunt end of a ballpoint pen or a fingernail can be used, feedback suggests the support person simply applies pressure for up to five minutes.