Acupuncture news

Acupressure after Caesarean section helps restore digestive function

Acupressure after Caesarean section may provide a simple, cost effective solution to pain and discomfort.

Having your baby by c-section delivery can temporarily affect your digestive tract, leaving it sluggish and painful.  Both the anaesthetic and the surgery slow things down. This causes bloating and abdominal discomfort, and also nausea and vomiting. Additionally it could lead to breastfeeding difficulties and affect early maternal bonding.  A clinical trial just published by Turkish professors Derya Kanza Gul and Ayca Solt Kirca shows that acupressure after Caesarean section helps restore the gut’s function and movement. This avoids the need for laxatives, which sometimes cause more irritation and discomfort.

The study, published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, compared acupressure treatment with coffee, sugar-free gum and a control group. Coffee was given 3 times a day, and sugar free gum was chewed for 15 minutes every 4 hours.  The acupressure was the quickest to restore bowel movement and function, and reduce wind.

A 2018 case report published in Medicine reports that acupuncture treatment after C-section relieves post-operative ileus. The acupuncture points used are St36, Sp 6, Sp9, St37, SJ6 and LI4 bilaterally.  A 2017 Iranian study showed benefit using acupressure points St 36 and LI4 massaged on one side for 10 minutes each point.

Kanza Gul and Solt Kirca have also researched acupressure for pregnancy-related constipation and acupressure for perineal pain after episiotomy.

Recommendations for acupressure after caesarean section

This new study recommends that midwives and obstetricians receive training in acupressure techniques, and then include them in their protocols.  However acupressure point prescriptions are by nature individual.  So are best prescribed by qualified acupuncturists who tailor the treatment to each woman.

Our team teach you acupressure techniques to support you through labour and after your baby is born.  It’s a good idea to have some sessions with you and your birth partner.  This equips them to help with any difficulties you encounter.  The teaching session are either online or face-to-face.  Birth partners can connect to their acupuncture practitioners online during labour for additional advice.

For more research on the benefits of acupuncture and acupressure during childbirth see our Acupuncture Research – Fertility and Pregnancy page.

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