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What is Maternity Acupressure?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Maternity acupressure is a form of complementary medicine that is designed to address some of the issues specific to pregnant women. It can be practiced at various stages of pregnancy for different purposes. Practitioners of maternity acupressure are trained in acupressure as well as the needs and concerns specific to pregnancy so that they can provide appropriate care to their patients. As with other complementary medical treatments, it is advisable to get a doctor's clearance before receiving this treatment.

Acupressure itself is based on the idea that the body is filled with flows of energy and that these flows can be manipulated. Illness is viewed as a symptom of a blockage or other problem with the body's energies. Acupressure practitioners use a series of pressure points on the body that are said to connect with the energy inside the body. They apply pressure to these points after examining the patient to determine where the problem lies, with the goal of releasing or diverting energy. A closely related discipline is acupuncture, which uses needles for similar manipulation.

During pregnancy, maternity acupressure to reduce vomiting is one application of this therapeutic technique. Women who experience frequent nausea, dizziness, and other symptoms can see an acupressure practitioner and may incorporate other techniques such as breathing exercises and stretches as well. Acupressure practitioners may also provide therapy for stress, depression, and other mental health issues that can come up during pregnancy.

Care must be taken with acupressure during pregnancy. Certain pressure points are linked with uterine contractions and stimulating them during pregnancy can be inadvisable. It is also important to make sure that the patient's body is fully and comfortably supported during acupressure sessions. Certain essential oils that are sometimes used in acupressure practice are also important to avoid during pregnancy.

Acupressure to induce labor is also possible. The pressure points on the body that can stimulate uterine contractions when they are touched can be used to induce or speed labor. Others can have analgesic effects and may be used for pain management during labor. Women who are interested in managing labor without medications may include maternity acupressure in their birth plans and integrate it into the labor and delivery process.

Women interested in maternity acupressure should seek out acupressure providers who have fully completed training programs and received special certifications that demonstrate competency in the field of maternity acupressure. It is also a good idea to get a note from a doctor that explicitly gives permission for acupressure sessions and provides information about the patient and the pregnancy that may be important for an acupressure provider to have.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
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