Maternity reflexology for pregnancy and labour
Can reflexology help you have an easier labour?
So yes, putting time aside for reflexology treatments during your pregnancy gives you a chance to invest in the new life growing within you and could lead to an easier labour!
Other research found that first time mums who received 10 reflexology treatments prior to birth had average labour times of 5 to 6 hours. It was also noted that the group treated with reflexology needed far less pain relief during labour. (2)
I have treated numerous expectant mums and have had so much positive feedback showing how well reflexology has prepared them for labour, with quick delivery times being reported in many cases. Please click here to see a selection of these comments.
As an experienced maternity reflexologist, I work in a complementary way alongside the skilled work of your midwife (your main healthcare provider during pregnancy) and will need you to confirm that you have your midwife's permission for me to treat you, before attending your first session..
Short film - one woman's experience of reflexology during pregnancy
Common discomforts of pregnancy
Are you suffering from any of the following discomforts of pregnancy?
Treatment sessions may help alleviate symptoms and will enable you to relax. Many clients have told me that they appreciate having some regular quiet time for themselves, especially when they are coping with such dramatic changes going on, both physically and emotionally, at this time.
Other pregnancy-related health conditions
Unfortunately some women develop one of the more uncomfortable conditions of pregnancy:
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is thought to affect up to as many as 1 in 50 pregnant women and in extreme cases may cause dehydration due to constant vomiting. If you are one of the unlucky sufferers, you may have nausea and sickness throughout the day and have no appetite. The calming effects of reflexology may be particularly beneficial and specific reflexology techniques can be used to help you cope with this condition.
Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP), also known as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)), is a potentially debilitating complaint that may last throughout pregnancy. In more severe cases as pregnancy progresses, additional support may become necessary to take pressure off the affected area. Reflexology encourages relaxation, thereby alleviating anxiety and specific techniques may help in the treatment of this condition - making the use of crutches or a wheelchair unnecessary.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can affect expectant mums - usually in the later stages of pregnancy. Pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel of the wrist can cause pain and tingling in the hands, travelling up the arms and into the back. Reflexology may encourage the elimination of excess fluid build-up which seems to be a primary cause of the condition.
Post-term maternity reflexology
A great many women do not have their babies until after their expected 'due date' and at 10 days or more post-term a medical induction may be suggested to start and accelerate labour. If you are waiting impatiently for your baby to make an appearance you may like to try a more natural way to 'get things going'!
A reflexology treatment in the very late stages of pregnancy should enable you to relax and 'let go' which sometimes has the desired effect. I also use specific accupressure techniques to encourage the birthing process to start.
There is no guarantee that this will happen but feedback I have received shows that most women leave feeling calmer, more confident and better prepared for labour after their reflexology treatment.
Reflexology during labour
During my time as a reflexologist, I have worked on a voluntary basis in the delivery suite of a large hospital, treating many women during labour. Reflexology helps by:
Birthing partners can also be shown simple techniques that may help them become an integral part of the whole experience.
Reflexology is a gentle and natural way to help you recover following the birth of your baby. Huge physical and emotional changes have taken place in the space of nine months and it may take a while for your body to return to normal. In the days following childbirth the sudden huge drop in hormone levels may leave you feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of looking after a tiny baby. This happens to most new mums and is commonly known as the 'baby blues'. The disturbed nights that feature heavily in the early weeks can also lead to a feeling of sheer exhaustion! The good news is that reflexology treatments will ensure you have some much needed time to yourself and allow you to be pampered. Treatments may also lift your mood, helping to alleviate anxiety and encourage your body to heal.
If you have any questions about maternity reflexology or if you would like to book an appointment please call me on 07794 893625 or get in touch here.
1 Valiani M et al - 2010 "Reviewing the effect of Reflexology on pain and outcomes of the labour of primiparous women" Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research. 15(Dec) p302-310.
2 G. Motha and J. McGrath - 1992 "The effects of reflexology on labour outcome".
3 Li C-Y et al - 2011 "Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep amongst post partum women" Midwifery. 27. p181-186