Saturday, August 22, 2009
Myths About Maternity Acupressure
With all the articles out there promoting the benefits of using acupressure induce labor. it seems a reasonable and even responsible thing to write an article to warn of some dangers with acupressure and pregnancy. Too often I see and hear people giving advice on this issue that is incorrect and can actually be harmful. There are a few very popular myths I'd like to debunk.
Myth 1: Acupressure wont work until your body is ready to give birth.
The truth: This is slightly true, except what isn't explained in this statement is that your body starts preparing for labor long before it is safe for you to give birth. Doctors of eastern medicine and other professionals advise staying away from pressure points around your hands, feet and abdomen anytime after your first trimester for this very reason. Well-informed massage therapists and even salon workers are careful not to stimulate these areas accidentally with foot and back massages, as well. This is not meant to strike fear in you with the thought that you can accidentally bump one of these points and spur premature labor. It takes more than a bump or poke by accident to stimulate these points. This is simply to inform you that you should be careful not to intentionally "activate" these points before you know for certain it is safe for you to give birth.
Myth 2: Acupressure doesn't start working until a day or so later.
The truth: In most cases, early labor signs begin about 1-4 hours after the treatment. Birth takes place within the 48 hours, but signs for early labor start much more quickly.
Myth 3: You can perform all acupressure treatment yourself.
The truth: If you can still reach your toes and other areas, then this is true. Technically in that you CAN preform acupressure on yourself, but it is advised that you have help. The father, a family member, a friend,- anyone can assist you. The reason you should have someone help is not only to reach all the points, but also to be around to help when labor does start. This is especially useful if labor begins much more quickly than you were prepared for.
Myth 4: It is safe to perform acupressure at any point late in your third trimester.
The truth: No, no, and no! I was startled when I heard someone say this, and even more so to find out it has been written all over online. Please, please Don't attempt acupressure before you've been told inducing is safe by your doctor. The only other time it is safe to start treatment is if you've already begun labor and want to help things move along more quickly.
Be sure all is well and safe for you and your baby. Acupressure is very helpful in reliving pain, speeding the birthing process, and even with positioning the baby correctly, but should only be done when the time is right. Preferably, it should be all cleared by your doctor beforehand. Physicians are used to getting questions about naturally inducing labor in all sorts of ways. If your doctor doesn't know about acupressure to induce labor, seek a second opinion. Acupressure is the most popular way to naturally induce labor, and almost all doctors know about it these days.