My husband and I attended one of Justine’s ‘acupressure for labour’ classes and found the session informative and relaxing (well for me as I was being practised on!). I think we managed to time our class just perfectly, I was 35.5 weeks pregnant at the time and went into labour exactly 4 weeks later. I was far enough along for there to be no risk in trying some of the naturally inducing acupressure points both in the class and subsequently at home and we had enough time to practise what we had learnt a bit and not run the risk of forgetting everything when the big moment came!!When the day arrived (naturally and a few days early...who knows perhaps some of those pressure points worked?!) I managed the first few hours by myself rocking over my exercise ball and with the use of hot water bottles for added comfort but as the contractions increased in both frequency and intensity it was then that I called on my husband to apply what we had learnt, and it really helped! Of course it still is hard work and painful (it’s not called labour for nothing!) but I got to 6cm dilated by the time we got to the hospital, 10 hours after labour had started, with just my poor husband for support. I did need to have pethidine for a few hours to help me rest a bit during the labour but the last 4 hours of the labour I relied entirely on the acupressure points and my poor husband (again, barely allowed to leave my side) to get through it and we made it! With Justine’s advice I found the labour hard work, tiring (it was 20 hours) but manageable and not as bad as I had feared. I have recommended this to friends and will certainly be calling on the same knowledge when it comes to baby number 2...and yes hopefully there will be a baby number 2, it wasn’t that bad after all and of course it was more than worth any pain when you hold your baby for the first time.
We have used acupressure with the birth of our baby successfully. After my water broke contractions failed to establish. To help labour move along I used the pressure point in the hand to get the contractions going. About 2.5 hours later I was in the second stage of labour. During the end of the first stage we started pressure on the sacral points. During the first stage we used these points to take the edge off the contractions, and during the second stage I needed continuous pressure on the sacral points (I told my poor husband to come back here and do not let go for anything :)). That’s all we got to use as my labour progressed very fast and we had a baby in about 2.5 hours after labour was well established. I would recommend everyone to use acupressure as alternative to establishing labour and pain management. Hiring a support person specializing in acupressure could also be very useful.
Not only did I attend one of Justine’s Shiatsu for pregnancy and labour massage courses, Justine became my doula. I cannot say enough how wonderful a doula she is, and how amazing the Shiatsu techniques she used were at helping to manage contractions. I must admit that I wasn’t too sure about having a doula until I met Justine. I was worried that having another person at the birth would feel weird and would somehow step on my husband’s toes but I am so glad that I had Justine at my son’s birth.I met with Justine before my baby was born, where she gave me a much needed pre-natal Shiatsu massage and she also met my midwife at a home visit, then she was on call for when I went into labour. Justine didn’t mind me texting at 4am to say my waters had broken and she arrived a few hours later as my contractions were becoming a bit more regular. From the moment she walked through my door to when my baby was born, Justine used Shiatsu techniques to help me deal with my contractions. I found that that having Shiatsu done while I was in a contraction helped me to focus my mind whilst distracting me from the contraction itself. Justine was on hand for every single contraction and kept pressing points on my sacrum and giving me massages to help me cope. While my husband ran around getting things ready for me to go to the birthing centre, she stayed by my side and helped create a relaxing and calming atmosphere by burning essential oils, playing relaxing birth music, giving me massages and making me laugh through and between contractions.Between Justine, my husband and my midwives, I felt I had a really strong team to get me through labour. I managed to have a successful VBAC with no medication and I honestly have no idea how I would have gotten through it without having Justine there.