FEDANT Federation of Antenatal Educators accredited pregnancy reflexologist.
Reflexology use in pregnancy is very beneficial to the mother and unborn baby. As it’s a very relaxing treatment, it can help with well being, general anxiety, tension, reducing stress and stress related hormones. Minor ailments of pregnancy can also respond well to reflexology therapy.
A research project undertaken by Dr Gowrie Motha in London discovered that the effects of reflexology during the antenatal period on labour outcomes were outstanding. (Motha Gowrie & McGrath June 1994, The effects of reflexology on labour outcome. Association of Reflexologists 2nd edition.)
The effects of too much stress
Bringing a new person into the world is not an easy task. We worry about everything, from the foods we eat, our health, our baby’s health, juggling family, work, finances and appointments. Also the mixed emotions of the prospect of giving birth can be an anxious time. When you are stressed your body goes into fight or flight mode, releasing adrenaline and cortisone hormones. While everyday pressure is part of modern day life, constant high stress levels can trigger an inflammatory response in the body. This has been linked to poorer pregnancy health, pre term labour and low birth weight. Some of the symptoms of stress include difficulty sleeping, irritability, loss of appetite, headaches, low mood, racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating. It may seem unnatural to make time for yourself a priority, especially if your used to looking after others, or working very hard. Taking care of your own wellbeing is essential to you and your baby’s health.
Being in a relaxed state can also help reduce pregnancy related muscle aches and tension. Pregnancy reflexology can help you relax, unwind, re balance and have some very important me time, returning your body into a state of harmony.
Priming for labour
A reflexology technique called priming for labour can be used from your due date onwards. It is most beneficial and recommended for you to have at least two reflexology sessions prior to a priming for labour appointment. While the start of labour is something only your body can do as it’s a hormone process, reflexology can encourage the production of the hormone oxytocin which is essential for labour and birth. Mum’s may be feeling a little stressed and anxious and the relaxation and strong stimulation of reflexology can sometimes help the body to be ready for labour
Reflexology use in labour
Reflexology use in early labour is beneficial to aid relaxation, the gentle touch also supports the stimulation of the very important hormone oxytocin which in turn helps with labour and triggers the flow of endorphins helping with natural pain relief.
Reducing stress hormones is extremely important and effective for assisting the body with the natural birthing process. The uterus and cervix are known as sphincter muscles, the purpose of these is to hold something in until there is a trigger to open and release (in pregnancy this trigger is the release of hormones). When ready to open, the muscles relax and expand to allow the contents out. The muscles work best in an atmosphere of privacy and calm and cannot be opened at will. They will involuntary close and tense up if the mother feels scared, tense or stressed. A good example of this is, would you be able to easily go to the toilet in public if you were being watched?
Being in a stressed state can prolong labour time and the birthing process, therefore it’s important for women to be as relaxed, calm and as stress free as possible.
As part of your pregnancy reflexology treatment, I can show you and your partner some simple self care techniques to use at home to help keep you relaxed.
**We recommend booking your pregnancy reflexology / priming for labour appointments a month in advance. This is to ensure we can give you appointments around your relevant pregnancy dates**
Reflexology for post natal care
Reflexology is very beneficial after the birth of your baby, especially when other types of complimentary therapies may feel too heavy. It can often feel overwhelming emotionally and physically when you get home, so it’s important to take some time to rest. Reflexology can help return the body to a balanced state, also giving you some much needed relaxation time.
Reflexology is also a wonderful treatment to use with your baby to help calm them or as part of a bedtime routine. Please see the section on reflexology for babies for more information.
Reflexology for pregnancy video
Fully accredited by FEDANT, Federation of Antenatal Educators for Pregnancy Reflexology and Antenatal Education.
National Registration Number 12800