Newman Studio/Fotolia

What Pressure Points Induce Labor? Here's How To Massage That Baby Out

By
Share
Ad failed to load

The last few weeks of your pregnancy can often feel like it's longer than the rest of it combined. No shoes fit your swollen feet, your belly is stretched to the max, every little movement takes about 30 minutes of pre-planning, and you have to pee every minute of the day. And, sleep? It's a thing of the past, regardless of how tired you are. You'll try just about anything to get that baby out, but do different foods, long walks, and acupressure really work? Some women swear by acupressure, but what pressure points induce labor?

According to a literature review conducted by Women and Birth, further research has to be done in order to really prove whether or not acupressure is effective in initiating labor. But, if your doctor has given you the OK to try it out, it could be worth a shot.

If you think you want to give it a go, you should also find someone who can show you how to access the relevant pressure points safely (which might be hard to do, as certified practitioners can be rare). One good first step is checking to see if you can find any professionals nearby through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Ad failed to load
Giphy

Kristen Burris, Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.), Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine, and Master Herbalist of Eagle Acupuncture, tells Romper there's a few things to check on before you attempt acupressure to induce labor.

You want to make sure that you are at least 38 weeks pregnant, Burris says, and that the baby is in position with its head down. You also want to make sure you can tolerate a bit of pain. "While acupuncture tends to be painless depending on practitioner skill level and needle quality, acupressure, when done properly, is quite strong and can feel painful, especially to women who are sensitive or have fibromyalgia," she says. Once you're ready, try getting comfortable in a reclining chair, and have a few things close to you (like a wooden spoon or bottle top) that you can use to apply pressure if your fingers get tired.

Ad failed to load

Angela Le, Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.), of Fifth Avenue Fertility Wellness, tells Romper that acupressure works best when firm and deep pressure is applied in a rotary or up-and-down motion to the point for a minute or so.

So where do you actually apply pressure? The Spleen 6 acupressure point is traditionally used for delayed labor and has been known to shorten labor and reduce uterine contraction pain. In addition, it can help labor process by causing cervical ripening and strengthening the intensity of contractions. It's located approximately four fingers width above the inside of the anklebone, along your shin. Usually, using the palm of your hand will get you close to its location, says Burris.

Bladder 60, Le tells Romper, is helpful for stimulating labor and reducing pain. This point may also be helpful to encourage the baby to engage in the most ideal position if done before labor. Bladder 60 can be found on the outside of your ankle bone, halfway between the tip of that bone and the edge of your Achilles tendon.

Ad failed to load
Giphy

Large Intestine 4 has many treatment benefits and traditionally has been used for delayed labor, inducing labor, abdominal pain, and increasing lactation, Burris says. To activate this point, squeeze the midpoint between the web of your hand between your thumb and pointer finger right up against the bone in your hand.

Gallbladder 21 is located on top of the trapezius muscle, directly above the nipple, says Le. This point may help descend the baby and stimulate contractions, and relieve pain. This is relatively easy acupressure point for your husband, doula or partner to access, Burris adds. "They basically have to squeeze your shoulders like they are giving you a traditional shoulder massage," she says.

Ad failed to load

"The sacral region is also helpful to relieve pain and stimulate labor progression," notes Le, "and this area can be stimulated by leaning against your labor partner's fist or a massage ball roller."

But don't get lost in figuring out the perfect point. "It is important to go with what feels right for you," Le continues. "Different points will feel good during different stages of labor. Communication with your labor partner will help them know which points to use for you."

Burris recommends checking out tutorials created by a professional as well. "Attempting to find acupuncture points to apply pressure with your fingers or instruments can be a challenge for those untrained, however, finding a video online with a skilled practitioner can aid in finding the exact locations you are trying to stimulate," Burris says.

Ad failed to load

And, as always, check in with your doctor before attempting any sort of labor induction methods at home, regardless of how much you want that baby out.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}