Reflexology for supporting the maternity journey
For those interested in research:
Dr Gowri Motha (Doctor and Obstetrician as well as a therapist) who was responsible for introducing water births into the NHS.
She has created the gentle birth method a natural method of looking after yourself in pregnancy.
She found that mother’s used/needed less intervention during labour.
She writes in her book, that Reflexology is one of the most powerful tools in her programme and describes how it could benefit throughout the pregnancy:
• Reducing and normalising high blood pressure
• Normalising low blood pressure
• Elimination of oedema and reduced swelling in feet and ankles
• Prevention of heartburn
• Improved sleep quality
• Clearing headaches
• Relieving varicose veins
• Clearing pelvic congestion
• Improved lymphatic drainage.
It helps to aid digestion by boosting the pancreatic secretion of digestive hormones, the pancreas can become sluggish during pregnancy due to the effect of the placental hormones.
• Oxygenating the baby by improving the blood flow within the whole body, helping the uterus and the baby’s placenta.
• Can be used to initiate labour if you are overdue, thereby reducing the need for medical induction at hospital.
• Intensifying contractions during labour and shortening labour as a result.
In a study of 100 overdue women in the maternity unit at Walsall Manor Hospital in England, researchers found that “more women went into labour sooner and needing less pain relief than those without reflexology and fewer needed strong pain relief during labour. (The research was nominated for a Royal College of Midwives Award for Innovation in Midwifery).
Though the researchers acknowledge they had a limited sample, the women in the study expressed having less pain and greater relaxation, making for more ease in their deliveries.
A further article providing a comprehensive overview of the use of reflexology in pregnancy and post-childbirth period.
Reflexology for supporting the maternity journey: