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Maternity Reflexology

Reflexology is an ideal healing technique during pregnancy as it aims to balance your body and treat a variety of specific conditions to maintain health and wellness. Safe, friendly and effective, the therapy offers a non -invasive solution to almost all of the conditions that can appear during pregnancy-morning sickness, nausea and vomiting, heartburn, backache, blood pressure regulation, constipation and haemorrhoids, gestational diabetes, anxiety and insomnia, muscular fatigue and tension, swollen ankles, pelvic girdle pain and pelvic floor flexibility. Treatments should be maintained regularly, generally monthly, throughout your pregnancy to maintain your health and vitality and once a week in the final four weeks to ensure an optimum labour and birth.

The most valuable use of reflexology is to help prevent some of the above problems during pregnancy while postnatal reflexology assists with the flow of breast milk, prevents mastitis and assists the body to return to a pre-pregnancy state.

Results of a study carried out by Dr. Gowri Motha at Jeyrani Birth Centre on the effects of reflexology on first time mothers. 37 pregnant women completed a course of 10 reflexology treatments with remarkable effect. The average length of the first stage of labour was 5 hours whereas the text book expectancy was 16-24 hours; the second stage of labour lasted an average of 16 minutes compared to the text book expectancy of 1-2 hours and only 5.4% of the women who had reflexology treatment required emergency caesarean section compared to an average of 13% in Newham district which was the district where the study was conducted. Statistics revealed that there was very little difference between labour times of 30 years olds and 40 year olds in first time mothers.

As well as helping with the normal effects of pregnancy a reflexology treatment encourages the uterus to become a very healthy and toned muscle: encourages the pelvis to flare open more easily and the cervix dilates more rapidly during birth. A 2011 midwifery study carried out at Wolsalls Manor Hospital in the UK found that reflexology not only successfully induced labour in overdue mothers but also reduced the need for pain relief.

Reflexology Treatment Chart

Your Condition When to start Preventative Reflexology
Morning Sickness at 4-16 weeks
Heartburn at 16-24 weeks
Constipation at 16-28 weeks
Anaemia at 16-28 weeks
Gestational Diabetes at 16 weeks
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome at 16-24 weeks
Backache at 16 weeks
Fatigue at 16 weeks
Anxiety at anytime
Pelvic Girdle Pain when it commences
Haemorrhoids at 20 weeks
Swollen Ankles and Legs at 24 weeks

For other more serious conditions seek medical help from your treating doctor or midwife.

Studies have shown that women who have regular reflexology treatments during pregnancy have far shorter labours than those who don’t; and more relaxed, comfortable births.

*From the “The Effects of Reflexology on Labour Outcome” by Dr Gowri Motha and Dr. Jane McGrath, Forest Gate, London, England, 1988.