Reflexology during pregnancy
Congratulations! You are starting a new and exciting phase in your life. Having a baby, whether or not it is your first pregnancy, will bring you plenty of wonderful experiences and new challenges.
Reflexology aims to optimise the physical and emotional health of pregnant women through working on specific reflexology points, usually on the feet but sometimes on the hands or face. These reflexology points correspond to different parts of the body.
Reflexology during pregnancy will allow you time away from your probably busy life and provide a comforting place where you can focus purely on yourself and your growing baby.
When can I have reflexology?
Reflexology can be used throughout pregnancy. A full history will be taken to ensure that it is safe and appropriate to carry out a reflexology session.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence from women who feel they have benefitted from reflexology throughout their pregnancy.
There are some conditions that are contraindicated for reflexology during pregnancy and I cannot give a reflexology treatment:
• Deep vein thrombosis
• Pre-eclampsia: fluid retention, high blood pressure and protein in the urine
• Pre-term labour before 37 weeks whereby you should contact your midwife/GP or hospital
• Placenta previa (low lying afterbirth) if Grade II, III or IV and 32 weeks or more
• Polyhydramnios: excessive fluid around the foetus
• Oligohydramnios: lack of fluid around the baby
• Placental abruption where the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus
• Unexplained vaginal bleeding
The first trimester is a time when there are huge changes in hormone levels as well as anxieties and concerns about the changes that are going to happen. Both of these factors may leave you feeling delighted, anxious, exhilarated, weepy and exhausted - sometimes all at once! Reflexology aims to aid relaxation, de-stress and offer support.
Second and Third Trimester
In the second and third trimester, most of the discomforts of early pregnancy have gone. However as the baby grows you may begin to experience other physical symptoms. Your stress levels may also rise as the birth becomes more imminent.
Reflexology can be used for general well-being or to address other health issues such as sleeping problems as they arise.
Preparation for labour
As your due date approaches, you may find it useful to have reflexology more frequently.
Although there is no evidence that reflexology can induce labour, the general view is that it will help support the body to prepare for labour and promote relaxation at a time when anxiety levels are often high.
If you have not had reflexology throughout your pregnancy and are in your third trimester it is advisable to have at least two full reflexology sessions before your due date.
Light Touch Reflexology is suitable for you to use on your baby from 4 weeks of age. It is a wonderful therapy that parents and grandparents can use to enhance the natural loving bond between you and your baby.
The techniques are fuss-free and take only a few minutes. Only baby's feet are touched which means it can be easily used in everyday situations.
The soothing , calming effects of the reflexology techniques enhance general well-being which in turn may help your baby with:-
•stomach / reflux
•bowel / colic relief
•ear / nose / throat / eye problems
•insect / jelly fish stings
•boosting the immune system
Toddler reflexology techniques are used on the hand when your baby becomes mobile, approximately 10 months onward. The reflexology techniques are adapted to be used on the hands using nursery rhymes.
Toddlers feel engaged with you which makes the experience fun and interactive for everyone. The simplicity of the techniques make them ideal to use anytime anywhere.
Some of the benefits experienced can include:-
• calming a fractious toddler
• encouraging a strong immune system
• ear / nose / throat / eye problems
• sinus pain
• teething pain
• stomach and digestion
• lung health
When is the best time to give reflexology to my baby / toddler?
It is most beneficial to pick a moment when you yourself are relaxed. This promotes a relaxation in your baby or grandchild, so that together you can enjoy the natural bonding enhanced by the reflexology techniques.
Choose a moment when you feel that your baby is ready to receive and enjoy reflexology.
Extensive study has shown that regular reflexology encourages long term benefits. It only takes a few minutes within a 24 hour period.
Is there a time when I should not give reflexology to my child?
• Allow 48 hours after vaccinations
• If your child has a fever, temperature rise, pale, listless, profuse sweating, breathlessness, rashes, fitting, stiff neck
Always seek medical advice if you are at all concerned about your child's health.
Never stop your child's prescribed medication without permission from your child's doctor.
Always defer from giving reflexology if you are unsure whether your baby is well enough to receive it.
How do I learn the reflexology techniques?
As a mother myself I understand the need to be very flexible when it comes to young babies and toddlers! I teach parents and grandparents the reflexology techniques to use on your own babies or toddlers.
This can be done on a one to one basis in your own home or in my therapy room. Or if you prefer you can invite a small group of friends or family with similar aged babies or toddlers in your own home, in my therapy room or at a suitable venue.