Generally, there are two options for pain relief during labor, these use either pharmacological or non-pharmacological methods. Pharmacological methods have adverse side effects for the mother and fetus, whereas non-pharmacological methods are free from side effects.
Acupressure is a non-invasive method which is used to augment labor, provide pain relief, and shorten delivery time. It increases the intensity of uterine contractions (based on Montevideo unit) without affecting the duration and intervals of uterine contractions and, eventually, reduces the duration of delivery.
Our study suggests that L14 acupressure is a suitable non-pharmacological technique that is easy to perform and effective in elevating pain, without causing adverse side effects for the mother or baby. It can be used to reduce pain during the active phase of labor rather than using pharmacological methods. According to the World Health Organization’s policies to reduce the rate of cesarean deliveries and promotion of safe childbirth, it is necessary to make childbearing pleasant and reduce maternal fear of natural childbirth using safe methods to reduce labor pain and increase the rate of vaginal delivery. In order to make this possible, midwives need training in using non-pharmacological techniques and the attitudes and policies of the hospitals need to be altered. Due to the simplicity and safety of the acupressure technique, additional research using a larger sample size and in combination with other techniques to apply pressure on different points of body is suggested.