Acupressure for inducing labour for nulliparous women with post-dates pregnancy

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2015 Nov;21(4):257-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2015.07.003. Epub 2015 Aug 15.


Objective: To compare the efficacy of acupressure for induction of labour for nulliparous women with a post-dates pregnancy.

Design: A single-blind randomised trial.

Setting: Antenatal and labour ward of a UK district general hospital.

Participants: One hundred and thirty two women requiring induction of labour with a post-dates pregnancy (>41 weeks gestation) with no significant medical, obstetric or fetal condition.

Method: Acupressure: 20 intermittent presses to stimulate each pair of acupressure points; (Large Intestine 4, followed by Spleen 6) or 'Sham" treatment: 20 intermittent presses to the patella and then to the olecranon.

Main outcome measures: Treatment-to-commencement of labour interval.

Secondary outcome measures: Requirements for oxytocin, mode of delivery, duration of labour, requirement for pre-labour Caesarean section, presence of meconium, neonatal intensive care admission, 5 min Apgar scores, and evaluation of maternal satisfaction.

Results: There were no significant differences between the two groups in treatment-to-commencement of labour interval, requirements for oxytocin or mode of delivery. Fewer inductions of labour were required in the sham treatment group (p = 0.004 CI 1-35). The incidence of meconium-stained liquor, and neonatal outcomes were similar for both groups.

Conclusions: Acupressure performed at 41 weeks gestation in nulliparous women does not appear to be effective for inducing labour for post-dates pregnancy.

Keywords: Acupressure; Acupuncture; Induction of labour; Post-dates pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupressure / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Labor, Induced / methods*
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult