Pregnancy is the most special phase of life for both parents. It is full of anticipation and lots of blossoming dreams. However, things can get stressful every now and then especially when mother-to-be have passed their estimated due date and there is still no sign of labor. For doctors, premature or delay in labor might just be a routine, but for the mothers, it could mean a lot of anxiety and stress. This is when they rely on home remedies or alternative medicines to induce long-awaited labor pain. Another popular method that several mothers trust to bring labor pain is acupressure. With the help of some specific acupressure points to induce labor, mothers can avoid medical induction.
Understanding Labor Pain
Labor is the final stage of the pregnancy. It is an alarm of sorts that the baby is coming. In this phase, the uterine muscles are hard at work to create a contraction in order to dilate the cervix and allow the doctors to deliver the baby. This leads to a lot of pain, discomfort, and cramping in a woman’s body.
Labor is different for every woman. However, there are some common signs and symptoms that allow you to understand this phase better. There is no clear indication of when the labor starts. Some of the signs of labor are:
- Continuing pain in the lower back and abdominal
- Painful contractions of varying intensity
- Water breaking
- Stomach issues
- Feelings of restlessness
- And disturbed sleeping patterns
- Regular contractions every five minutes when in labor pain.
Effective Acupressure Points to Induce Labor
Using acupressure is one of the many natural ways to induce labor. There is nothing unnatural about it and it is a popular practice as a part of Ancient Chinese alternative medicine technique. Acupressure in an ancient medical field that has been popular for its painless treatment for several common ailments. It is often referred to as needleless acupuncture that uses acupoints to stimulate blocked energy, also known as life energy.
This practice is often a part of medical treatment alongside modern medical practices. Even though it is said to have no side effects, but pregnant women are warned against using this technique without the approval of their doctors or acupressure practitioners.
Here are eight acupressure points for labor pain.
- Bladder 48: This is one of the most commonly used acupressure points to induce labor. It is also known as B48 or Bladder Vitals and widely used for treating hip pain. It is easy to locate as it is situated three chon to the side of the sacrum, right in the middle of gluteal muscles of the hips. If you are experiencing any pain around this area, it might be softer than the usual. Therefore, you must be careful while massaging it. This point can also be used to treat lower back pain, and sciatica pain.
- Stomach 29: Another effective acupressure point for labor plain is ST29. It is located at the outside of the pubic bone, just two chon from the midline. It is a vital point for female health as it unblocks the flow of energy to female reproductive organs. Other than inducing labor pain, it is also used to treat menstrual issues, infertility, abdominal pains and more.
- Spleen 6: It is one of the most significant points in acupressure for labor pain. It is also referred to as SP6 and it is located in the inside of your leg, just three finger widths above the ankle bone, next to the tibia. You must massage this point on both the legs to experience the benefit. Apart from this, it can also be used for treating pelvic disorders, urological issues, and insomnia.
- Large Intestine 4: Li4 is one of the most popular and versatile acupressure points used by practitioners to deal with a range of health issues. It can be easily accessed and massaged. It is located in the web of flesh between the thumb and index finger. It is commonly known as Union valley and the point on both the hands must be stimulated to experience its benefits. It is useful for alleviating all kinds of pain, digestive disorders and calming down.
- Pericardium 8: Known as Lao Gong, this point is frequently used by practitioners of energy healing. This point lies in the center of our palm. It is easy to locate, simply by making a fist and checking where the middle finger touches the palm. This point is also known as palace of labor or palace of toil.
- Kidney 1: K1 is commonly called Gushing spring and it is said to be one of the primary acupressure points for labor pain used by the reflexologists. It is located on your sole and can be located in the depression when the foot is in plantar flexion. Pregnant mothers might find it difficult to reach this point, it is suggested to ask your partner or friend to help you rub this point. It is proven to be beneficial to relieve stress and anxiety and even headaches, sore throat, and lower back pain.
- Kidney 3: Located at the inner side of the feet, this point can be found between the Achilles tendon and the ankle bone. It is also called the Great Ravine and it is used to treat diabetes, headache, eyesight problems, and irregular menstruation. It is said to be quite effective in labor induction.
- Urinary Bladder 60: UB60 is more likely an acupressure point to manage labor pain. It helps in enhancing the blood flow that can soothe the torment of labor pain and ease difficult labor. It is located on the foot, in the depression between the tip of external malleolus and the Achilles tendon. It can also be used to relieve lower back pain and headaches.
For effective practice, begin acupressure by calming yourself down through breathing exercise, but avoid stretching. Ask your partner to rub your feet during and after birth. These acupressure points can help you through your pregnancy period. However, as mentioned above, do not use them without a doctor’s consultation.