When you want pain relief…without the drugs – Acupressure


When you want pain relief….but don’t want drugs…

Labour is intense. It is hard. It brings you to the brink before bringing you back again. It is challenging. It can be painful.

So what can you use to assist moving through this process?

What tools are available if you want pain relief but don’t want drugs?

Where are your options when you want an alternative?

I will be providing a pain relief series over the upcoming months, covering your pharmacological pain relief options but also various non pharmacological pain relieving techniques to assist with the process of labour and birth. During this first month, I will doing a brief overview of acupressure. If you want to hear about a certain type of pain relief soon, please get in contact with your request.

labour aids

I am going to outline acupressure as an option for non-pharmacological pain relief during labour, including the benefits and risks. Whether this works for you is going to depend on your body, your labour, your experience (including your babies position, the speed of your labour and where you are birthing).

Acupressure (Comb)

Acupressure is activating specific points in the body to elicit a response. These points are the same as what is used for acupuncture, except the pressure of a finger/thumb is used to provide the response. There are a number of spots that can be used with varying intentions, from progressing labour, moving baby, reducing anxiety and pain relief. Fair pressure is applied to the acupressure spot consistently for 30-60seconds. Some spots may feel like a bruise, some may feel almost like an electric shock. Some spots are intense and easy to find, some are more subtle and require some poking and prodding.

acupressure in labour
A great back acupressure point during contractions in labour, especially when baby is in a posterior position!

A comb is a fantastic tool that can be used to quickly and easily activate acupressure spots in the hand which have been shown to provide distraction and assist with labour. Holding the comb in your hand, the points should be pointed to the centre of the hand, along the line indicated on the picture.

Where to place points of comb to activate pain relieving acupressure points.


  • Easy to access
  • Plenty of points to try and choose from
  • Cheap (if buying a comb)
  • Very little training
  • Results instant.


  • Can be uncomfortable
  • May need to ‘find’ spots which may be annoying for mother (mark these up with a sharpie to remove the time factor in finding next time)
  • May not be effective at the time depending on reason for use and woman’s personal preferences at the time
  • Require some practice prior to better understand ideal spots and appropriate placement and pressure from support persons (this can be quick and easy to learn at the time if required though)
  • Need to remember to pack the comb!

If your wanting to know about other drug free pain relief options, keep an eye out for upcoming blog posts.

Check out other blog posts here in the meantime…


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