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Teach Yourself Acupressure for Natural Pain Relief in Labour

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Apr 14 2016 09:13AM

Our acupuncturist with a special interest in women's health, fertility and pregnancy looks at the benefits of using acupressure in labour

Acupressure for natural pain relief in labour
Acupressure for natural pain relief in labour

Calling all soon-to-be Mums, Dads and other birthing partners!

Learn how to use acupressure as an easy and effective way to relieve pain and encourage a straight forward and efficient labour. Women reported that when the pressure was taken off the pain increased in intensity within 3 or 4 contractions and reduced immediately when pressure was reapplied. It is quick and easy to learn and can make a real difference. Empower yourselves!

With feedback from the woman about what feels right and helps, it gives Dads and birthing partners an active focussed role, helping them to stay connected and supportive throughout labour and beyond.

• Reduce the intensity of pain.

• Encourage a more efficient shorter labour.

• Reduce the likelihood of epidurals and strong painkillers.

• Promote calm and helps the woman stay in control.

• Help to restart labour and stimulate contractions.

• Encourage babies in breech position to turn into head down position.

• Post-natal treatments to restore energy and encourage milk flow.

• Can be used anywhere: at home, in hospital and in water.

You can learn these simple and effective techniques via a half hour DVD or a one hour online course put together by Debra Betts and Tom Kennedy. Learn exactly how to find and how to use the eight points. It is advisable to begin practising with very light pressure from about 36 weeks so that when the contractions eventually begin you are familiar with finding the points and working together. You will also learn how to use smokeless moxa sticks to warm points for restorative post-natal treatments and to encourage babies in the breech position to turn, the latter ideally at 34 to 36 weeks. The results can be extraordinary.

The material is simply presented and users have said that they were empowered and felt more confident about their birth. It gave both partners a useful focus, helping them to stay calm and in control.

How Can I Help?

If you would like to feel more confident about finding and using the points and the moxa then I offer a hands-on follow up session for you and your birthing partner(s) to guide you through. I can also supply you with high quality moxa sticks.

Acupuncture can also be useful leading up to the birth, helping you to feel calm and preparing the cervix and pelvis for labour. Treatment can be adapted to deal with specific symptoms. Midwives report that women receiving preparatory acupuncture consistently had an increased chance of a more efficient labour with less chance of needing medical intervention. Weekly sessions from 36 weeks are recommended.

Resources and more information

Online acupressure for labour course (60 minutes): £16.

Acupressure for labour DVD (34 mins) including booklet (£11.99 plus P&P). The link name is misleading, it is definitely about acupressure and not acupuncture. There is also an app version if that is preferred, which can be found by searching via iTunes or Google Play (£7.99).

Debra Bett’s website contains a wealth of information on acupressure and acupuncture in pregnancy and childbirth including research summaries, feedback from users and midwives, plus downloads and youtube links on how to find the points.

Best Wishes

I wish you all a positive birth, as close to your desired plan as possible. Stay flexible and keep an open mind.

Philippa is at West Norwood Therapies on Tuesday and Friday mornings

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