The birthing experience, particularly for first time mothers, can be a beautiful, wonderful time or a time filled with tremendous anxiety - or usually some mix of the above. While acupuncture can be used for labor induction and anxiety, in many situations it may be difficult or impossible to have your acupuncturist in the birthing room with you. Acupressure, then, can be quite useful as anyone can be trained to stimulate these points including your spouse or other family members, your midwife, etc.
A study recently published in the Nursing and Midwifery Studies journal looked at the use of two acupressure points in relieving anxiety during delivery and accordingly the affect this would have on maternal-fetal attachment.
Maternal fetal attachment has been seen as an important factor in the bonding of mother and child. This starts with birth and a mother with incredible amounts of anxiety and/or being traumatized by the birthing process can find it difficult to bond with their child in the early days. In this study researchers recruited 150 women in their active phase of delivery and divided them into 3 groups - one an acupressure at GB 21 group, another a SP 6 acupressure group and a control.
They found that either point reduced anxiety levels and increased maternal-fetal attachment according to the Avant's questionnaire. From a practitioners perspective, both points are quite useful and are often used in labor induction protocols. GB 21 would be the easier of the two for a lay person to use within the delivery setting. SP 6 is a very useful point but the person utilizing the point may be in the way in physical terms in a hospital setting.
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