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While these sites are helping women find ways of naturally inducing labor, they are rather irresponsibly ignoring some of the warnings they should issue about using acupressure during pregnancy.
Too often, advice is given from third parties that is not only wrong but may be dangerous.
Here are a few warnings before using acupressure during pregnancy and how to do it safely…
Pregnancy Acupressure Warning #1:
Do not use acupressure during pregnancy until it is safe to give birth.
The prevailing belief on the Internet is that maternity acupressure will not work until your body is ready to give birth.
This stems from some truth, but doesn’t take into account the fact that a woman’s body starts “getting ready” for birth months before it is safe to do so. Just ask any woman going through the body’s training exercises known as Braxton Hicks, which are false labor contractions experienced throughout the second and third trimester.
Most physicians actually warn against massages and acupressure near the hands, wrists, abdomen, and feet for this reason. Many spas and massage therapists ask specifically if a woman is pregnant so they know to avoid these areas.
Obviously, there should be no fear that you might induce labor merely by touching these areas. These areas require more stimulation such as directed pressure and massage techniques for acupressure to have any effect. You should, however, be absolutely certain that it is safe to induce labor before attempting to do so. The best way to know is by speaking with your doctor, or if you are overdue.
Pregnancy Acupressure Warning #2:
Be ready for maternity acupressure to work.
There are many ways to stimulate acupressure points to induce labor. Most methods involve stimulating 2 or more spots simultaneously.
For some reason, there has been an overwhelming belief that acupressure during pregnancy takes a day or two to kick in. If done correctly, however, most labor signs start within 1 to 4 days after an acupressure massage which was performed correctly.
Birth itself may take up to 48 hours, but the symptoms begin much earlier. Be prepared to go to the hospital or be set up if you are going with a home birth.
Pregnancy Acupressure Warning #3:
Do not perform acupressure alone.
First, the chances that you will even be able to do the necessary acupressure by yourself are slim.
By the time baby should be on his or her way, you probably haven’t even seen your toes, let alone touched them, for at least 6 weeks.
The ankles and feet are very important in maternity acupressure, so you’re probably going to need some help. Not only this, but you should have someone there just in case the treatment works too well and labor signs strike you unprepared.
You can have the father, your significant other, a friend, or a family member help during this time. Just be sure it is someone you are comfortable with and let them know the possible outcomes.
An even better option is to consult a holistic doctor or acupressure specialist near you for a professional treatment.
Pregnancy Acupressure Warning #4:
Do not attempt acupressure at any point in your 3rd trimester.
A woman’s body is almost completely ready to give birth by the first week of her 3rd trimester, but that does not mean it’s a good idea!
You never want to induce labor before it is safe for your baby.
Most women turn to acupressure because they are overdue and are ready to just be done with pregnancy. Others planned this method from the beginning and know the date which they can safely perform maternity acupressure.
If you are looking into ways to induce labor, be 100% certain that it is actually safe. Again, speak with your physician (or even a midwife) before deciding on any form of induction.
Another way to use acupressure for pregnancy is if you have begun to give birth already and want to alleviate pain without chemicals, and/or you want to process to move more quickly.
While acupressure has been proven for centuries to help ease pain, stress, and induce labor, it is still a medicinal practice and should not be taken lightly. Be sure you don’t fall into any traps or hype about this method and keep you and your baby safe!
I write about using maternity acupressure to induce labor. I also enjoy crafts, art, interior decorating, and lots of other hobbies.