Maternity Reflexology

Reflexology during pregnancy

Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to reflex zones in the feet that correspond to the organs, glands and systems of the entire human body. It can help with many ailments and is proven to be very effective in treating the common symptoms experienced during pregnancy. Studies have also shown that regular Reflexology during pregnancy can lead to a shorter labour and also lessen the chances of needing an episiotomy during delivery.

You may have heard that Reflexology is not recommended during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. The reason it isn’t recommended is that Reflexology promotes balance throughout the entire body and during the first trimester of pregnancy, it is necessary for hormones to be released in irregular amounts and also new hormones to be introduced to the systems.

Therefore, encouraging the body to regulate and balance would work against what it needs to do in those early weeks. Gentle foot massage during this time however can be really beneficial and wonderful for the mother to be.

During the second and third trimesters, it is believed that regular Reflexology sessions help the mother to become ‘birth fit’ by focusing in on the following systems:

  • The respiratory system, for anxiety reduction and regulated breathing,
  • The endocrine system, to promote balanced hormone release throughout the entire body,
  • The lymphatic system for flushing toxins from the body.
  • The digestive system for helping the body cope with physiological changes experienced during pregnancy.
  • The musculo-skeletal systems, in particular the pelvic area to encourage a natural and stress free delivery.

Reflexology can also be given during labour and delivery and also in the weeks after to encourage the body to restore itself back to its pre-pregnant state. Another amazing thing I’ve experienced is how babies love Reflexology but that’s a whole other article!!

In my personal experience, back pain, joint strain, migraine, anxiety, constipation, the discomfort experienced with Pubis Symphysis and even sore gums can be alleviated during pregnancy by having Reflexology. Some of these common symptoms can have a debilitating effect on the mother to be, so if Reflexology proves effective, it can have a huge impact on the whole experience of pregnancy and how much it is enjoyed.

What happens during a session?

There is nothing to fear about going to see a Reflexologist. First of all, they will conduct a consultation to find out more about you and make sure that there are no contra-indications (that means no underlying conditions that might mean Reflexology is unsuitable).

The session will be carried out either on a massage table but sitting in an upright position or in a specially designed chair which will be tilted back to the correct position. The feet and ankles are exposed so socks will be removed and jeans or trousers, rolled up slightly.

A full session takes about an hour and during that time, the mother to be lies back, relaxes and enjoys the experience, both feet are worked evenly and a light moisturising cream or talc is used to make sure the right amount of pressure can be applied. If certain conditions are discussed in the consultation, the Reflexologist may spend extra time focusing on the relevant reflexes.

The session will be rounded up by the Reflexologist who may give some feedback about the reflex areas where they felt changes in the texture of the feet or ask further probing questions to determine how it felt and what was enjoyed most about the session.

The benefits of Maternity Reflexology

There is a plethora of information about Maternity Reflexology on the internet, there are books and courses and DVDs. I can only speak from personal experience and have seen and felt for myself how amazing and enhancing Reflexology can be during pregnancy and labour. It can make the difference between enjoying or enduring pregnancy and it can also make Mum’s to be feel that they are doing something that will benefit them and their new baby.

About The Author

Kate Prendergast is a fully qualified Reflexologist practising in Little Clacton, Essex who specialises in Maternity Reflexology. Kate typically sees clients from the surrounding areas of Clacton-on-Sea, Weeley and Thorpe le Soken.

Find out more about Kate’s work by visiting her GoToSee profile page here

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