ACUPRESSURE for Labour, Pregnancy and Postpartum Care
What is Acupressure? It is a very "hands-on" technique! Acupressure is an alternative medicine bodywork technique similar to acupuncture, but without the use of any needles. It involves placing physical pressure, usually by hand or elbow, on different pressure points on the surface of the body, to bring about relief for a wide range of symptoms. The area where the pressure is being applied may be far removed from the symptom area.
How does it help Labour? Acupressure is an amazing tool for many labouring women who are looking for natural pain relief during labour. These points can not only reduce your pain, but are helpful in promoting efficient labour, thereby helping to speed up your labour and decreasing the need for medical interventions. A secondary effect of Acupressure is that it helps promote the release of endorphins and block pain receptors during your labour. It can also alleviate anything from mild nausea to vomiting that you may experience during the later stages of your labour.
Acupressure for Pregnancy Care Acupressure can be very effective at alleviating morning sickness that might plague you during pregnancy. It can significantly reduce pain and swelling due to pregnancy-related hemorrhoids and help you cope better with back pain, especially in your lower back.
Acupressure for Postpartum Care Acupressure is a natural approach for women experiencing breastfeeding issues and breast discomfort due to engorgement. It reduces discomfort following surgery, be it cesarian birth or episiotomy and tearing. It also helps relieve constipation and reduces pain and swelling due to post-pregnancy hemorrhoids. It can be an adjunct in improving the "baby blues" which affect 60-80% of women after birth.
Doulas Specialized in Acupressure (DSA-LP, DSA-PC) We are pleased to offer Acupressure for Labour as part of our Birth Doula Package, when applicable. In the case of Acupressure for pregnancy and post-partum care, we will demonstrate the technique during our prenatal and postnatal visit, showing you where and how to use Acupressure, as required. We will mark the points for you, so that yourself and/or your partner will be able to apply Acupressure safely for your relief. While the effectiveness of Acupressure varies by individuals, Acupressure can be highly effective. Certain acupressure points are to be used with caution during pregnancy. This is why we recommend that throughout your pregnancy, you only apply acupressure on the points as instructed by a professional trained in acupressure. This includes health professionals, such as an acupuncturist or TCM doctor, naturopathic doctor, or a birth professional, - such as a midwife or a doula, who have been trained in acupressure for labour.
What Acupressure is Not It is not a massage, but rather direct firm pressure to a specific area. It is not acupuncture and there are no needles involved. It does not provide pain-free labour. It is not meant to replace medical interventions when things do not go according to plan. It is not a substitute for medical treatment for serious conditions, such as mastitis and postpartum depression. It is not something you can simply learn over the internet.
Research Want to find out more? Follow the links to published research that supports the benefits of Acupressure to facilitate a shorter, more efficient, and less painful labour: