The sequences used and the points on the feet that are worked on are reflective of areas in the body that relate specifically to pregnancy. Each session will be tailored to suit your needs based on the symptoms and stresses that your body is suffering. For example, if you had terrible morning sickness, the reflexology treatment would include working on points related to your digestive system.
Reflexology in pregnancy aims to work on both the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy and your journey into parenthood, and so reflexologists will sometimes offer lifestyle and self-help advice and support.
During pregnancy, reflexology aims to optimise the physical and emotional health of pregnant women. It is a natural therapy helping to support and balance mother and baby during this special time. It can be deeply relaxing and pleasant to receive! Reflexology is one of the most popular complementary therapies used by women during their pregnancy because it improves general well-being and vitality. It induces a deep state of relaxation so that her body can adjust to the major changes which are taking place, and it can help to ease or prevent many of the discomforts and ailments which are commonly associated with pregnancy. Trials have found that those receiving regular treatments during their pregnancy tend to deliver closer to term and have shorter labours.
Reflexology can help with nausea, morning sickness and fatigue. I can give shorter sessions weekly, or a full hour may be appropriate every two to three weeks, depending on the mother’s goals and response to the sessions.
The AoR (Association of Reflexologists) Guidelines state that Reflexology does not increase the risk of miscarriage during the first trimester (first 13 weeks). Therefore, first trimester of pregnancy is not a contraindication.
In the first trimester there is a natural increase in miscarriage - this is 'usually' due to the body being clever, knowing when developmental mistakes have happened.
There is no evidence to show that reflexology can bring on a miscarriage.
When do Pregnant Women First See you, and How do you Support them through their Pregnancy and Beyond?
Reflexology can be used throughout pregnancy, although most people choose to come once they get to 12 weeks or after their first scan. A full history will be taken to ensure that it’s safe and appropriate to carry out a treatment.
Sessions are customised to each person and to each stage of pregnancy, focusing on relaxing techniques and direct attention to common symptoms of pregnancy. Appointments are usually monthly until nearer the due date when they can be a little closer together.
It can also be wonderful to have a reflexology session after you have given birth to help balance the body and allow for a little relaxation during a very busy time.
What Benefits can Pregnant Women get from Reflexology that they Might Not Get from other Treatments?
Receiving reflexology during pregnancy allows mums-to-be time away from busy lives and a place where they can focus purely on themselves and their growing baby. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence from women who feel they have benefited from reflexology throughout their pregnancy.
Two recent studies have shown that reflexology in pregnancy reduced discomfort during labour, reduced the length of the first stage of labour, and improved quality of sleep in post-natal women.
Can Reflexology Induce Labour?
The last few days of pregnancy can be really uncomfortable, and if you’re overdue, you may be trying every trick in the book to bring on labour!
Reflexology is not a miracle treatment and if your baby is not ready to come out then Reflexology isn’t going to initiate that process in one treatment. However, if baby is ready to come then by working on the areas that stimulate hormones, the uterus/ovaries as well as spinal nerve roots we can help prepare and support the body for what is to come. Reflexology can be very soothing and helps you to relax – which is only going to aid you in the labour process. Reflexology often works better when received regularly throughout a pregnancy and studies have shown that many of these women often go on to have easier and smoother labours.
Although there is no hard evidence that reflexology can induce labour, the general view is that it will help support the body to prepare for labour and promote relaxation at a time when anxiety levels are often high.
As a reflexologist, I am there to support my clients through any worries or concerns they may have in a safe and confidential space.
Can Reflexology Cause a Miscarriage?
No. Maternity Reflexology cannot, will not and does not cause a viable foetus to be miscarried nor delivered early.
It is a gentle and non-invasive therapy and works with you and supports your body through the great changes it is experiencing at this time.
Is Reflexology OK Throughout the Entire Pregnancy?
Yes, definitely! As long as your reflexologist has been trained in maternity reflexology then there is no reason why you cannot enjoy treatments from before conception until after the baby’s birth.
Reflexology can Help Relieve the Following Complaints During Pregnancy:
And it has the following benefits:
There are some conditions where reflexology should be avoided altogether during pregnancy and these include:
Reflexology is also beneficial postnatally for:
I hold a full Level 3 Diploma from the London School of Reflexology in Regent’s Park University under the tuition of Louise Keet – described by the Mail on Sunday as “Britain's leading Reflexology practitioner”. I’ve also completed specialist training to Diploma level in Fertility, Pregnancy and Post-natal Reflexology with Louise Keet at the London School of Reflexology.
I am committed to maintaining the highest clinical and professional standards in my practice and undertake regular professional development as part of this drive for excellence.