Acupressure is a simple way to encourage your Bub to come naturally into the world.
As an acupuncturist I am constantly amazed at how powerful acupressure can be.
Use direct firm pressure on the points (do both sides) for 1-3 minutes a few times a day, while taking deep, relaxing breaths.
Get familiar with these points before the labour start- they are empowering tools (especially for your birth partner!)
Partner involvement can help calm you down and make you feel more connected, grounded and supported on your journey.
LI 4 (Large Intestine 4)
Location & technique
This point is located in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger; find the highest point on the fleshy mound when thumb and index finger are close together. Use a pincer grip to to hold this point. It is quite a strong point for the client and very easy for her to do to herself.
-Improves circulation to the uterus
-Stimulates uterine contractions
-General pain relief in labour, especially heading into transition
-Use during second stage great if fatigued and not pushing effectively
Please note: These two points (LI4 + SP6) are forbidden in pregnancy until week 36 as they are thought to encourage contractions!
SP 6 (Spleen 6)
The point is found on the inside of the ankle, 4 finger breadths above the medial malleolus (ankle bone), behind the edge of the shin bone. You may feel a slight depression in that area.
-This point helps to ripen and soften the cervix
-Useful during prolonged, delayed or difficult labour
-Helps reduce after pains
Please note: These two points (LI4 + SP6) are forbidden in pregnancy until week 36 as they are thought to encourage contractions.
GB21 (Gall Bladder 21)
Find the mid-line of the spine and edge of the shoulder- the point is halfway in between, at the highest point of the shoulder muscle.
The location can feel quite tender (size of 10-50c piece) as many people hold their stress there.
-Reduce shoulder tension which can release of oxytocin (the hormone which encourages labour)
-This point aids the first and second stages of labour by sending the energy downwards
-Encourages the foetus to descend down the birth canal
-Helps to expel placenta and with your milk let down response
-Use from 36 weeks if no complications
BL60 (Bladder 60)
Between the tip of the outer ankle bone and the Achilles tendon. There is a Kidney point on the inside of inner ankle which helps to dispel fears and boost your deepest energy reserves. Hold points in a pincer grip- so you are multitasking efficiently :-)
-Gets baby into a great position
-Encourages baby to descend
If you’d like to know more get in contact to book an Acupressure for couples to naturally promote labour and reduce pain during labour workshop. It’s a fun, one hour hands on session that gives your birth partner power tools to help you through your birth. Includes a comprehensive take home booklet, tips and combinations for birth complications, placenta delivery and breastfeeding.
Weekly acupuncture sessions are recommended from week 36 of your pregnancy to promote a natural labour, get Bub in a good position, ripen cervix, regulate hormones, reduce anxiety, calm the spirit and so much more!!
Postpartum 14-20 days after birth come in for a special ‘Mother warming’ acupuncture treatment to help you recover and heal after your miraculous feat! Weekly acupuncture sessions and Chinese herbs are advised for 4-6 weeks to get you on track with breastfeeding, hormone re-balance, moods, energy and whatever else may come up!
Make sure you choose find a qualified university trained traditional Chinese medicine practitioner nationally registered with AHPRA.
Good luck on your birth journey!! Xx Emma Quine.
Let me know if you have any questions about these points or feedback from your birth experience.