Category: 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Acupressure during Pregnancy?

Acupressure during pregnancy has been adopted as standard by many European countries.
Acupressure is often used to treat the nausea of morning sickness.
Acupressure is essentially a specialized form of massage therapy.
Article Details
  • Written By: Sheree Van Vreede
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The CDC reported that eight foods, including peanuts and milk, account for 90% of food allergies.  more...

October 25 ,  1971 :  The United Nations expelled Taiwan and admitted China.  more...

The ancient Chinese technique of acupressure, sometimes referred to as Tui na or "push-grasp" for its use of finger pressure, has been widely recognized for its role in alleviating such ailments as pain, stress, and insomnia. As a result, the possibility of utilizing acupressure during pregnancy has generated a great deal of discussion. Proponents of maternity acupressure say that it can alleviate nausea or morning sickness, reduce physical discomfort during the pregnancy as well as during birth, and help to induce labor. Opponents, however, caution that there is little scientific evidence to back up these claims, with the few studies that have been performed producing little results.

The reported overall benefits of acupressure during pregnancy range from allowing a pregnant mom in her third trimester to begin labor at home, thereby dilating the cervix and shortening the delivery time at the hospital, to relieving the new mom's overall stress level. Such benefits are accomplished without the use of potentially harmful induction medications. Many believe that it can even aid in lowering the level of distress that a baby experiences during birth.

For years, doulas and midwives have been applying various types of acupressure. By learning the basic pressure points, a pregnant mother or her partner can also administer the technique. Essentially, it is a specialized form of pregnancy massage therapy.

Ad

Most critics will caution that stimulating a woman's pressure points after the first trimester could be dangerous as she could inadvertently activate her body to begin the labor process. As a pregnant woman's body readies itself for labor weeks in advance, it might not be advisable to perform this technique without a good understanding of what is happening within the body. Furthermore, critics argue that every woman is different and that her body might respond differently to acupressure during pregnancy. They warn against treating acupressure as a "cure-all" or a "one-stop shop" and strongly advise that a pregnant woman only have a licensed professional perform an acupressure session.

Nevertheless, this 5,000-year-old tradition has many convinced that pregnancy acupressure is a safe and effective option for pregnant women. Acupressure during pregnancy has been adopted by many countries across Europe and Asia; however, it has been slower to take hold in the United States largely because it is not considered a standard practice of medicine. No matter what, though, a pregnant mother should speak with her healthcare provider before seeking this treatment and make sure she fully understands both the benefits and the side effects of acupressure.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

manykitties2
Post 3

I had acupressure during my pregnancy and found it really helped with my morning sickness. I was constantly in the bathroom and was desperate to try anything so my brother took me down to the Chinese medical clinic he visits for his back pain.

The Chinese doctor I saw made me feel great and I think that pregnancy acupressure and labor acupressure should be considered when looking for safe and viable options to control your pregnancy issues. I was grateful for the pain relief I received. Nothing was better than having my nausea disappear.

Mae82
Post 2

@Sara007 - I think that acupressure to induce labor does what it is supposed to but if you are in a proper hospital environment I can't see just anyone being allowed to come in and induce labor. You might be able to arrange something with the doctor if you have been told that you'll have to induce labor.

I think that the most common reason for inducing labor besides problems is if the mother has some sort of medical risk. I suppose that acupressure techniques could work but I am still wary of anyone using it without medical help nearby. You should probably get your friend to stick with the doctors advice.

Sara007
Post 1

My friend is thinking about using acupressure to induce labor and I am wondering if it is safe for her?

We have looked up all sorts of ways for how to induce labor but she seems stuck on which method to choose. I guess she is really wants to know how to speed up labor so she doesn't have to sit through the 43 hours her mother did. I think her mom really frightened her with tales of a long labor and how hard it was.

I am not sure how I feel about inducing labor or forcing things along. I suppose it should be a personal choice for your own comfort and safety.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email