Using Acupressure or Acupuncture to Prepare the Body for Labour
There are a few acupuncture points that we can use to encourage labour by influencing the muscles of the uterus to contract. These are the same points which are referred to as the “Forbidden Points”, since they are not to be used at any other time during pregnancy.
And in fact, if you are trying to get pregnant, these points probably shouldn’t be stimulated in the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle, either.
Labour is an event that requires a LOT of energy – so, stimulation of these points needs to be fairly intense to get things happening. If you are using acupressure, find the tender spots and press deep and hard until it hurts, and hold it for up to 10 minutes. Rest, move to another point, do it again, and repeat.
Once labour is in full-swing, these points can be pressed by a birth partner to help manage pain during contractions.
If a professional is using acupuncture to encourage your labour, expect the treatment to be stronger than other treatments you may have had in the past. If your acupuncturist is manipulating the needles by hand, you will probably experience more intense and more frequent stimulation. If your acupuncturist is using electro-stimulation, you may have some wires attached to the needles which provide a gentle but constant electrical current to the acupuncture points.
Your acupuncturist may choose to add other points to your treatment based on your particular situation. But these points are the most commonly used points to encourage labour:
Shen Mai (Bladder 62) “Extending Vessel”
CiLiao (Bladder 32) “Second bone-hole”
JianJing (Gallbladder 21) “Shoulder Well”