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Pregnancy & Postnatal Reflexology in Worcestershire

So why have pregnancy or post natal reflexology?

Let pregnancy and postnatal reflexology ease you through this magical and sometimes confusing time for mothers (and partners!) as both mother and baby undergo many changes. 

Hormones can take on a life of their own.

Reflexology during pregnancy and also during labour and postnatally may help to aid relaxation, de-stress and offer support for your queries or worries. 

A few possible benefits:

  • Releases muscular tension in the body and helps with pain associated with pelvic pain (symphysis pubis dysfunction).
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved circulation – better for baby’s nourishment and assists with removal of waste and swelling/oedema
  • Enhances your connection with your baby – and your partner is very welcome to come and learn some helpful techniques
  • The chance to discuss areas surrounding breast care, perineum care and scar tissue. Some mums worry about these things.  

With many physiological changes taking place during pregnancy it’s little wonder that it seems a bit daunting. 

  • Extra pressure on joints, ligaments and organs. 
  • Possible morning sickness, 
  • Backache, 
  • Oedema/ankles, toes and fingers, 
  • Insomnia or getting comfortable during the night, 
  • Changes in emotional state can occur caused by the fluctuating hormones.
  • The increasing weight of the baby can cause normal standing positions to be changed causing pain in the pelvis. 
  • It’s normal to feel out of sorts one minute and calm and serene the next – come and learn about your hormonal changes!

Techniques include beautiful mindful reflexology, spinal reflexology, endocrine balancing, lymphatic drainage and relaxation to help bring about a sense of calmness and well-being. Treatments are carried out in a semi sitting position in my Lafuma reflex chair.

As every experience of pregnancy will be different, treatments are tailored to each client addressing any physical ailments as they occur and aiming to bring the physical mental and emotional bodies back into a greater state of balance.

When the body and mind have the opportunity to focus on steadying and breathing this helps to calm, soothe and nurture mother and baby

It is safe to have pregnancy reflexology through all trimesters?

Yes it is!   Some clients don’t even know that they are expecting when they come for a regular reflexology.  Pregnancy is a natural process and not ‘a condition’. Womens bodies were built to cope with birth.  

The combination of reflexology and adapted pelvic floor exercises may help develop deep relaxation and a feeling of well being to help support your changing body whilst teasing away tension. You can really tune in to your baby.

Regular reflexology throughout pregnancy (according to Suzanne Yates – Wellmother and Suzanne Enzer of The Maternity Reflexology Consortium both with whom I trained) can improve the probability of normal labour. However babies can be unpredictable can’t they?!

As well as reflexology, good nutrition and the right ‘dose’ of exercise are necessities for a healthy pregnancy.

Pregnancy Research Studies and Reflexology

Three studies below have shown that reflexology can significantly reduce pain through labour (1), reduce the length of the first stage of labour (1).  Improve the quality of sleep in post-natal women (2) and help with anxiety and pain (3)

  1. Valiani M. et al (2010) Reviewing the effect of Reflexology on pain and outcomes of the labour primiparous women. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research 15(Dec) p.301-310 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208928/
  2. Li C-Y et al (2011) Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep amongst post partum women. Midwifery 27. P. 181-186 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/195778
  3. Soheila Moghimi-Hanjani, Zahra Mehdizadeh-Tourzani, Mahnaz Shoghi (2015 Aug;53(8):507-11.)     The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Anxiety, Pain, and Outcomes of the Labor in Primigravida Women  Randomized Controlled Trial Acta Med Iran . https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26545996/

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Postnatal Reflexology

I worked as a volunteer breast feeding support worker (that’s a mouthful!) at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.  Reflexology was very helpful for a particular mum who was finding it hard to breast feed.  Reflexology allowed mum to calm herself and that afternoon her milk came in.

From 2-6 weeks after birth reflexology nurtures Mum which promotes physical and mental recovery. For postnatal depression it offers Mum a space to rest the mind and body and be supported.

Whether you’d like to book regular reflexology sessions or just a few, the session will be planned for YOU taking account of your obstetric and medical history, lifestyle and stage of pregnancy.

These treatments are intended to help support you through your pregnancy and IN NO WAY replaces the antenatal care provided by your Midwife.

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Physical activity before pregnancy can lower the risk of gestational diabetes by up to half, while exercise in early pregnancy cuts the risk by a quarter according to researchers at Harvard School of Public Health in the US. For more information – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4515443

/http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23436340

Check out Boots website www.webmd.boots.com/baby/features/the popularity and benefits of pampering in pregnancy.

Patrick O’Brien a consultant Obstetrician at University Hospital London and spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said …………

“Anything that’s relaxing for pregnant women is to be welcomed as sometimes pregnancy is difficult, tiring and stressful. Any type of massage is fine but avoid anything too hot like a steam room or sauna

The science behind reflexology…..

Recent research studies have shown that pregnant women who receive regular reflexology treatments during their pregnancies have calmer pregnancies with shorter birthing and less intervention.*

Conception thrives best on a balanced state of health

If you are trying to conceive, reflexology could help to balance the body systems to allow conception to occur. Both partners may benefit from reflexology treatment as for conception both should be in a balanced state of health with emphasis on the women’s ovum and the man’s sperm.

It is safe to receive reflexology from conception/1st trimester and throughout pregnancy.  There is plenty of anecdotal evidence from women who feel they have benefited from this treatment in terms of reduced pain during labour (1) and reduced length of first stage labour (1) and improved quality of sleep in post natal ladies (2)

Prepare for Labour

Preparation for labour is very useful. Again, we are working on various labour focus points may help to prepare for labour and promote relaxation at a time when anxiety levels may be high.

(1)  Li c-y et al (2011) Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep amongst post partum women. Midwifery. 27 p181-186

(2)  Valiani M et al (2010) Reviewing the effect of reflexology on pain and outcomes of the labour of primiparous women, Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research 15 Dec p302-310

Changes in the size, muscle tissue and blood flow to the uterus mean that a lot of the body’s focus is on this area and regulating hormonal balance.

*The Magic of Reflexology in Pregnancy. Dr Gowrie Motha, Reflections Dec 1994

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