Once pregnant, the body undergoes a myriad of changes to cater for the growing embryo then foetus. Every system is affected; so it’s important for your health as an expectant mother and for the health of the new life inside you that steps are taken to ensure everything is kept in balance. It’s a time when you need to be nurtured and cherished as well as supported in the pregnancy. This is where Reflexology may prove most beneficial. New mothers increasingly report they believe regular visits to a Maternity Reflexologist, as well as a healthy lifestyle throughout pregnancy, helped them to have not only a good labour and birthing but a speedy recovery.
Timing of Treatments
Reflexology can begin early in the pregnancy, continuing at regular intervals such as once a month. However, many newly pregnant women prefer to wait until through the first trimester before they begin treatments. Once into the third trimester, treatment frequency usually increases to every two to three weeks. Then as the due date approaches, weekly sessions are usually recommended. During this time I like to encourage clients to consider as natural a birthing as possible and to read Ina May Gaskin’s wonderful book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.” For those who are following Gowri Motha’s“Gentle Birth Method” I have also trained with Gowri in her Creative Healing Massage.
Labour and Birth
Whatever type of birthing experience you have, Reflexology aims to put you in the best possible state to cope and make a good recovery. If the pregnancy goes beyond term, with the permission of the obstetric care-giver, there are techniques that can be used on the feet and hands to try and encourage labour. I also recommend and show you how to use well-established acu- pressure points for labour preparation and pain relief.
Mother and Newborn
Giving birth is a joyous time but there can also be exhaustion, soreness and mixed emotions. Your body and mind have been subjected to a great deal during the pregnancy and birthing. Reflexology may help restore balance and harmony. A session soon after the birth provides an opportunity to relate your experience and discuss feelings, giving you time for yourself when elsewhere the focus is on the new baby. New mothers can find that Reflexology helps with breast feeding issues and recovery from the effects of an epidural. Sessions also provide the opportunity to show you how to work the baby’s feet.
I trained with Suzanne Enzer for her Certificate of Competency in Maternity Reflexology. Then as a Reflexology Tutor, I went on to design and run a Pregnancy & Birth Reflexology workshop at the Raworth Centre in Dorking, Surrey (sadly now closed) and which I established in Edinburgh for practising reflexologists. I believe passionately in the benefits of reflexology for pregnancy and birthing.