I regularly get contacted by women who are over 40 weeks’ pregnant and want reflexology to bring on their labour. This is good, I want overdue women to get in touch as I believe reflexology can be extremely effective at starting labour. However, I often think they’ve missed out by not getting in touch earlier in their pregnancy.
A reflexology treatment to induce labour is very different from a usual reflexology treatment. I use plenty of massage techniques at the beginning and at the end of the treatment but the actual reflexology part of the treatment can be very uncomfortable. The reflexology treatment is concentrated on stimulating hormones (the endocrine system), the digestive system and various acupressure points which are naturally sensitive.
During pregnancy I believe reflexology is very good at balancing hormones and may help women cope with the changes to their body during pregnancy. Many women suffer with backache, heartburn, pelvic pain etc. during pregnancy all of which may be relieved through regular reflexology treatments.
Pregnancy is a highly charged emotional time. At the start of the pregnancy you may be thrilled to be pregnant or you may be horrified or somewhere in between. During pregnancy there are many emotions that may take you by surprise. Rather than being a joyful time many women find it very stressful and get anxious about their baby’s health, their own health, how a new baby will affect their relationship / family dynamics, their finances etc. Although reflexology cannot solve all your problems it may support you through this time and help reduce stress levels.
Reflexology ‘induction’ is likely to be more effective if a woman has been having regular reflexology treatments as your body will have had time to respond to reflexology so that the labour priming treatment can be focussed on just bringing on labour and not ‘fixing’ anything else.
How soon in my pregnancy is it safe to have reflexology?
I believe it is safe to to have reflexology at all stages of pregnancy. However, reflexology is not recommended if you have a DVT (a blot clot inside a vein) or if you are over 32 weeks pregnant and you have high blood pressure.
I would recommend choosing a reflexologist who has additional training in maternity reflexology so that you can be confident that the therapist knows how to adapt reflexology treatments for pregnancy.
So, don’t delay. If you’re pregnant, book a reflexology treatment soon.