How Reflexology can Help During Pregnancy

Baby in hammockReflexology during pregnancy is generally considered to be safe provided you have a healthy pregnancy and your reflexologist knows you are pregnant.

Indeed, reflexology can be very beneficial to many pregnant women (and their partners!), helping to relieve a wide variety of discomforts and conditions, balance hormones and ever-changing emotions and prepare the body for labour.

A reflexology treatment is wonderfully relaxing and, often, it is one of the only chances that a mother gets to unwind and connect with their baby in the busy and exciting time leading up to the birth.

Regular reflexology treatments throughout pregnancy may help to reduce symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, oedema, constipation, haemorrhoids, fatigue, nausea and muscle tension.

There is some research to suggest that regular reflexology during pregnancy can help to shorten labour time and reduce the need for medical intervention. This interesting article by Dr. G. Motha called The Magic of Reflexology in Pregnancy, certainly convinced me to give reflexology a go during my first pregnancy.

There are some circumstances where reflexology may not be appropriate during pregnancy which is why it is important to talk to a qualified reflexologist with a post-graduate certificate in maternity reflexology before commencing treatment. It is also vital that you let your midwife or doctor know you are thinking about trying reflexology.

Circumstances where reflexology may not be used include:

  • Pre-term labour - if you have a history of labour starting before 37 weeks gestation.
  • Placenta previa - if you have a low-lying placenta after 32 weeks gestation.
  • Hydro amnios - if there is too much water around the baby after 32 weeks gestation.
  • If there is a risk (or history) of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) developing.
  • If there is a risk of pre-eclampsia developing.

Although there is no evidence to suggest that reflexology can cause miscarriage, I like many other reflexologists will not treat a client who is less than 14 weeks pregnant. I am however happy to talk to you prior to this if you are interested in reflexology at a later date or are concerned about miscarriage.

 

Labour

While reflexology cannot actually induce labour, it can help prepare the body for it, and if the baby is ready then reflexology may encourage labour to begin by relaxing the mother and baby, and balancing the hormones in the body.

After your due date, reflexology sessions are specially tailored to suit you and your situation, though there may be circumstances where it is not appropriate to treat you.

These sessions, called labour priming, involve more intense pressure being applied to the feet than normal and may not be as relaxing as a regular session. However if you are over your due date and worried about being induced in hospital it is well worth considering a session or two of labour priming reflexology as many women find they do go into labour naturally afterwards.

 

 

 

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