Most women have hopes and aims for the kind of birth they would like to have. Many dream of a natural birth for the benefit of both the baby and themselves, while for others the focus is pain relief and the security of knowing that someone is in charge through a new and potentially challenging experience.
Studies have shown that reflexology can reduce labour time and enable an easier birth with fewer complications.
Reflexology is fabulous for supporting women through this period of change.
It is also very beneficial in relieving some of the symptoms of pregnancy. There are clear safety guidelines and a reflexologist qualified in this field will always check for any contra-indications.
Dr. Gowri Motha an obstetrician in London has conducted several studies into using reflexology during pregnancy and its effects on labour.
“Reflexology has been performed by Dr Motha and her team throughout pregnancy and has been found to be safe during pregnancy in terms of helping mothers to go all the way to term and beyond, with a reduction of the common symptoms of pregnancy.” quoted from gentlebirthmethod.com
Birth is both a physical and an emotional event:
“when mind and body are synchronised, birthing is essentially easy to manage” (Motha)
Benefits during pregnancy can be: relief from nausea, improved sleep quality, a sense of well-being, preventing development of possible symptoms, improved digestion, well-being of the foetus and support for the mother.
“Increasing her physical fitness ready for the birthing process” (Motha)
It will also help build the mother’s confidence and ease her fears. Treatment may also relieve tiredness, aching, heartburn, musculo-skeletal problems and reduce swelling.
Where treatment has been received from the 20th week or earlier it is shown to reduce labour time by an average of two thirds.
During labour reflexology is used to intensify contractions, to calm and relax, and for pain relief.
When a woman has gone to term there is a specific treatment to stimulate the start of labour.
Women like to have something they can rely on and many turn to reflexology to support them through their pregnancy.
Partners also have a role here: they can be shown reflexes they can work to continue the benefits of reflexology at home and to use during labour for pain relief and to stimulate the birth process, as appropriate.
Pregnancy and childbirth is one of my areas of experience: treating women throughout their pregnancy. I also do birth attendances when required. I work regularly with women in the post-natal period to support them emotionally through the early days and help to get their body back into shape.
If you really want to put your dreams into practise and would like some support then you could consider reflexology treatment with someone who has knowledge and experience of working in this field.