Acupressure for Labor: A Natural Labor Induction and Pain Relieving Remedy

In order to start the childbirth, medical labor induction has become a common event. Pharmaceuticals are widely used to induce labor in the Western hospitals but there is an alternative to this risky approach. Acupressure for labor is a natural method that has become very popular among pregnant women and labor care professionals. This is because labor acupressure offers a safe and natural alternative to induce labor, and avoid the medical labor inductions and the use of labor inducing pharmaceuticals.

Acupressure for labor is a natural method that rapidly increasing group of labor care professionals are using and recommending to pregnant mothers, especially those who are threatened by medical labor induction. This is because acupressure for labor provides a safe and natural alternative to induce labor, without the risks of medication.

One of the most common methods used in hospitals, to artificially stimulate the labor to start, is to administer a drug known as Pitocin. It may or may not work within the next two days. When it works, Pitocin usually produces a very strong reaction and many experience strong labor pains. The effects that the pharmaceuticals might have on the unborn baby are not fully understood. There is also a good chance of some side effects that range from nausea and vomiting to more severe conditions, which usually lead to a cesarean section. All in all, pharmaceutical labor induction does not appear to be the best way to get labor and delivery started.

The natural and holistic approach of acupressure in bringing on the labor and delivery has absolutely no adverse effect on the baby as no pharmaceuticals are being introduced into the body. It’s safe for the mother, as well, because it only helps your body to function better. The worse possible side effect is a slight chance of minimal soreness at the site of pressure point stimulation after repeated treatments.

Acupressure encourages the labor to start by helping the cervix to ripen and dilate, and stimulating the contractions. Some acupressure points help to get the baby to engage better, if he hasn’t descended well.

A recent study tested labor acupressure on a group of women who were near or past their due date, and used a control group of women in similar condition. (Complement Ther Med. 2005) The pregnant women in the control group were not given acupressure treament. As the result of acupressure treatment, women in the acupressure group went into labor naturally, significantly more often than the women in the control group not using any acupressure techniques.

The management of labor pain and the prevention of suffering are major concerns of many labor care professionals and expectant mothers. As the risks of pain medications during labor are now known better, the drug-free approaches for controlling labor pains are becoming more common among labor care professionals and pregnant mothers.

Treating specific acupressure points for pain relief has been shown to increase the release of endorphins which are extremely effective in relieving pain. They also improve the body’s performance and promote positive feelings. A recent study revealed that treatment of one single pain relieving pressure point remarkably reduced labor pains, according to the ratings that birthing mothers gave during their labor and delivery (J Altern Complement Med. 2004).

Additionally, the study showed that the total labor time (measured from 3 cm dilatation to delivery) was, surprisingly, much shorter in the acupressure group than in the control group not using acupressure for labor.

Mothers who have used acupressure during labor have been incredibly satisfied with the method. They felt that it was very helpful in keeping the control of their own labor and delivery. They found that labor acupressure helped their cervix to dilate, encouraged the contractions, and managed the labor pains, without the fear that the labor would slow down.