Where are Acupressure Points to Induce Labor?
If the pregnant woman wants to go into labor before full term, she should rub her stomach and walk around until she drops the baby. Labor induction techniques that use acupressure work on this same principle.
The idea is to stimulate specific body areas for labor induction by applying pressure to key points in these trigger areas using your fingers or thumbs. This pressure can range from mild to intense depending on how strongly you apply it and how much you need to get things going (or slow them down if they’re already going too fast).
The following points are typically used in acupuncture treatments for inducing labor:
1. In the webbing between your thumb and index finger on either hand, there is a point called Pericardium-8. Apply firm pressure to this point with your thumb or finger for no more than one second.
Repeat this action up to five times during a contraction until it’s time to push, at which time you should switch to a pushing technique.
2. The tips of the shoulders are home to two points that have been known to induce labor: Large Intestine-20 and Gall Bladder-30.
Press firmly into these points on both sides of the body using all fingers of both hands, then continue pressing during contractions until it’s time to push, which is when you need greater strength of contraction from the shoulders from a pushing technique.
3. To get labor going, press on Kidney-1 above your ankle bone for a straightforward method. You can feel where this is by pressing firmly up along the inside of the shin bone, feeling for a bony ridge that feels like it ends in a pointy knob at the top of your foot.
This should be about four inches below your kneecap.
4. The other method requires you to lie down, but this isn’t always easy or possible during early labor when you’re experiencing lots of irregular contractions that don’t offer much time between them for rest, so experiment with positions and techniques until you find what works best for you and your body type.
Women are very flexible. Lie on your side with your knees bent, while for more rigid types, it’s better to sit up straight on the bed or floor with your back supported by pillows.
Press firmly into the point Bladder-32 located between your second and third lumbar vertebrae using the knuckles of all four fingers placed together in one strong fist.
5. Massage Uterus-1 above your pubic bone about three inches out from the center to induce labor. This is especially useful for women whose cervixes have already begun to dilate but are having issues pushing because their contractions aren’t strong enough to make the baby through the open canal of their cervix yet.
Baby can be eager to come out while Mom is still working on her strength and endurance. Add a little massage to bring things along by stimulating this area to encourage opening at the cervix during contractions.
6. Women who tend to get chills or enjoy shivering take an activator point between their thumb and forefinger and pinch it for about one minute during each contraction while continuing other labor induction techniques such as acupressure on the shoulders, Bladder-32, Uterus-1, or Pericardium-8 until pushing begins.
This point is known as Large Intestine-4, and while it’s typically used in acupuncture treatments to help expel food poisoning from the body after eating rotten fish, today, we’re using it to induce labor by causing mild chills. If you don’t get chills with the pinch, you can also try compressing or massaging this point.
For a direct approach to getting labor going, squeeze and release this point in 10-second periods until your contractions reach a minute in duration, then switch to using another labor induction technique until you’re ready to push.
7. If your body is too exhausted from trying all of these labor induction techniques during early labor with no change, try relaxing into sleep for about an hour while continuing acupressure on the shoulders plus any one of the other methods mentioned above for at least 15 minutes before awakening and trying again with renewed strength and endurance.
This allows your body to rest up, so you have enough energy for when it counts towards actual childbirth instead of just having a long early labor. This can be repeated as many times as necessary but will increase the chances of going into the transition phase during the hours it takes to complete this cycle.
8. One labor induction method that’s not typically done is to use heat on or around your pubic bone where you feel Baby’s head descending and head engagement (he’s dropped down and has his head engaged in your pelvis).
This is considered an old wives’ tale. Some women fear that getting their pubic area hot will start things up by causing spontaneous abortion or miscarriage, even though no medical studies confirm such claims.
Instead of using heat externally, try using warmth from within by generating fermentative warmth deep inside your body, with your mind and body pushing the same way you do during a bowel movement.
Your contractions need to be strong enough to push Baby out, so come up with a plan to strengthen them.