Acupressure as labor induction technique?
Acupressure is not an effective modality for inducing labor at full term in nulliparous women with uncomplicated pregnancies, according to the published results of a randomized controlled trial.1
Based on the limited research available on the effect of acupressure on the initiation of labor, Fatemeh Mahmoudikohni, MD, and colleagues at Shahid Akbar Abadi Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, undertook a randomized study to evaluate this noninvasive intervention. A total of 162 women were assigned into one of 3 groups to receive acupressure, sham acupressure using sham points, or routine care.
Their analyses found no statistically significant differences between the 3 study groups in rates of initiation of spontaneous labor at various follow-up intervals, mean time to birth, delivery type (vaginal or cesarean), or fetal outcomes.
Women were eligible for the study if they were ages 18 to 35 years and were in weeks 39 to 40 of their pregnancy. Other inclusion criteria required a singleton cephalic presentation, normal maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), Bishop score ≤4, biophysical profile score of 8/8, normal amniotic fluid index, no history of taking herbal or chemical drugs during the study or within 36 hours prior to enrollment, and no sexual intercourse during the study or in the prior 24 hours.