What is maternity reflexology?
Maternity reflexology is a branch of reflexology which has been specially adapted in order to use targeted reflexology techniques to help pregnant ladies care for themselves and their unborn children throughout their maternity period. Many ask 'is reflexology OK during pregnancy?' and the answer is yes, as long as you use a qualified reflexologist in maternity reflexology.
The benefits of maternity reflexology
Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman’s life, but research shows that having maternity reflexology really adds to that. Why? We’ll tell you.
Maternity reflexology is a popular therapy because it is aimed specifically at pregnant ladies and tailored to your needs. There are physical changes that you undergo when you’re pregnant, but also, a bunch of emotional and mental changes that are hard to keep on top of.
Did you know that around 75% of mums to be are nauseous during their pregnancy? And did you know that reflexology is wonderful at getting rid of that, usually within one or two sessions?
Further issues such as fluid retention, hormonal changes, aches and pains, fatigue, cramping, constipation all regularly rear their heads in expectant mums and as there’s not much in the way of medication that you can take, you’re left stuck with it. Until you discover maternity reflexology that is. Because, you guessed it, maternity reflexology may help with all of these conditions.
Countless case studies have shown that women who have regular reflexology treatments during their pregnancies have easier and faster births, cutting down the time they’re in labour generally to around four hours or so. This results in their babies having an easier birth too and being more settled and less agitated. They even breastfeed better!
How does reflexology make you feel?
A lot of our clients have likened it to having a full body massage, but just via their feet.
How does reflexology work?
If you think about a garden hose that when we turn on the tap is only trickling out water. We need to go back over the hose and check for where the kink is. That’s what reflexology does to our body, it finds that kink and allows the water to flow at full pressure.
How often should you do reflexology?
This is down to you and where you are in your pregnancy. We tend to continue with our clients in their first trimester weekly, then knock the sessions back a little in your second trimester and then ramp it back up as you approach labour.
But, as with all things, this is an ideal circumstance, it comes down to a multitude of different factors and we can work this out between us when you come for your sessions.
How is maternity reflexology administered?
We’ll sit you in a reclining chair. If you’re unable to lie flat due to risk of supine hypertension, that’s fine, we’ll bolster you to one side with a specialist cushion to tilt you over to your left side and ease the pressure on your blood vessels.
Then your qualified maternity reflexologist will apply pressure using specific thumb and finger techniques against acupressure points which date back 5000 years. Each reflexology point is within a zone and the most popular one for your pregnancy is your ankles, but there are others that link to balancing your hormones, keeping your intestines regular and so on.
In terms of training, Karen, your therapist has been practising maternity reflexology with pregnant ladies and their maternity care for years. She is an MAR reflexologist which means that she is a member of the AoR (Association of Reflexologists) and is trained to the highest standards. She's done training in standard reflexology then cpd thereon in to qualify her in advanced maternity care and works on pregnant women with regular reflexology on a full time basis.
How does maternity reflexology benefit me as a pregnant woman and her child?
There are a multitude of different ways that your maternity reflexologist can use pregnancy reflexology to help your period of maternity. However, we’ve listed a few below:
*stimulates vital organs
*encourages your body to heal naturally
In so doing, we’re asking your mind, body and soul to link up effectively and balance your system so that you and your baby get through your pregnancy with minimal complications.
I’m pregnant, can reflexology help with morning sickness?
We can never guarantee anything because maternity reflexology is like any drug, your body, your lifestyle and your stress levels will all dictate how it works for you specifically. However, what we will say is that we’ve been doing pregnancy foot reflexology at Essential Feeling for years now and we’ve never had someone come in for help with morning sickness for it not to have disappeared within a few sessions.
Maternity reflexology used to induce labour.
Maternity reflexology is a great way to cut down your labour time, we have fabulous experiences with our clients having super quick times.
However, many of our clients come to see us for a few sessions just before they are due to be induced. This is because they’re trying to avoid induction and want to go into labour naturally. What we need to say straight off here is that if your baby isn’t ready to come, no amount of reflexology will help induce labour. This is because maternity reflexology works by balancing your body, removing those kinks in the hose pipe that we talked about earlier. But, if the kinks simply aren’t there because the reason you’re not going into labour isn’t due to an imbalance, but more that your baby just isn’t ready yet then it’s not going to happen.
That said, when we’ve worked on our pregnant ladies in the past, we see great success with this. Ideally, if you give us a bigger lead time, then that’s better. Many of our ladies feel cramping actually during their maternity reflexology session. Our ladies will often find that they don’t need the same pain medication during their labour that other mothers they know needed too and this is backed up by research. A 1992 study here in the UK of 64 first time mothers showed that they enjoyed the same benefits of maternity reflexology.
When can you stimulate labour?
We wouldn’t start actively stimulating labour until after the 37th week unless your medical consultant advises us otherwise.
That’s not to say that there isn’t a whole world of benefit in having reflexology before this point. Reflexology is a safe therapy and if your body is balanced already, those kinks don’t develop in the hose pipe so we’re not battling to remove them post 37 weeks.
Can you come to the hospital and work with me throughout my labour?
Of course, depending on our schedule. We’d be happy to. Research has shown that if you have maternity reflexology throughout your labour, then the hormones that we induce have been known to speed up your labour, regulate your contractions and ease pain. A study cited by the Association of Reflexologists here in the UK concluded that “the results from this study indicate that reflexology can reduce the length of labour, labour pain intensity, postpartum haemorrhage and an improving Agpar score and that these can play a part in improving the health and satisfaction of the mothers.”
I’ve had a miscarriage, does this work in the same way?
Yes of course. Miscarriage affects around 15% to 20% of pregnancies. Karen, your maternity reflexologist is experienced at working with mothers who have lost their child, either following IVF, miscarriage, or late stage stillbirths. Reflexology will help to balance you and if you’ve been taking drugs, it will also help your body to eradicate any waste from them so you can get back to your normal, strong self as fast as possible. She can also help you with your infertility if you’d like a little later down the line.
Karen is also a certified counsellor, so you can be sure that you have a safe place to let off steam if this is what you feel you need.
Whilst maternity reflexology is a wonderful therapy, there are a few reasons why you shouldn't get reflexology throughout your pregnancy
*Deep vein thrombosis
*Imminent medical tests/ procedures unrelated to the actual pregnancy
*Severe cases of cellulitis
*Contagious or notifiable diseases
To book your maternity reflexology session, please use the online booking form below. If you would like to book your appointment for within the next 24 hours, please text Karen on 07757 946023.