Acupressure Contributes to Reduction in Epidurals and Caesareans

Acupressure can significantly reduce epidural use and caesarean section rates.
An integrative medicine programme which includes acupressure can significantly reduce epidural use and caesarean section rates, when added to standard antenatal care. Doctors in Australia randomised 176 first-time mothers attending two public hospitals in Sydney, to either standard care, or standard care plus a two-day antenatal education programme in six evidence-based complementary medical techniques (acupressure, relaxation, breathing, yoga, massage and partner support).

Whereas epidural use in the standard care group was 69%, that in the intervention group was significantly lower at 24%. The intervention group was also observed to have lower rates of caesarean section, medical or surgical assistance in labour, length of second stage, perineal trauma, and need for resuscitation of the newborn.

(Complementary therapies for labour and birth study: a randomised controlled trial of antenatal integrative medicine for pain management in labour. BMJ Open, 1 November 2016.)