Posts

Reflexology & Due Dates

‘Reflexology and going over your due date’ – It can make you go from happy endorphin flowing birthing mother, to ‘panicky cortisol filled tighten uterus mum’. ‘Baby is not going to come on time’ and a date for the sweep is booked in as if it were a regular coffee morning with friends.

The thought of not going into labour naturally, may fill you with disappointment,  but the very pressure of negative or anxious feelings, are the very thing that may prevent labour from starting spontaneously. If we are stressed our basic survival instinct is to not allow our baby to be born until we feel secure and safe.

As a Maternity Reflexologist I’m often asked what are the most effective ways to trigger labour and avoid going overdue.   As the due date approaches many couples are eager for labour to begin so they can finally meet their little one.

My personal thoughts are that a baby will come when it’s ready, when the mother and baby are in balance and feeling relaxed. When I give a reflexology treatment it is foremost to give mum to-be relaxation, calm and balance.

Certain acupressure points can be pressed, stimulated or held, to encourage the downward flow of energy and prepare the body for labour. Deep relaxation techniques are included which massage the reflex areas of the hips and pelvis, encouraging mum to relax and allow nature to take over.

Oxytocin and endorphins go hand in hand. It’s relaxing and has a soothing effect on both mind and body.  Not only does it help prepare for a timely and straightforward birth, it is also a relaxing way to help manage both the physical and emotional pressures many experience during pregnancy.

I feel like reflexology is another way to prepare for a relaxed and comfortable birth, hand in hand with yoga, meditation and healthy eating.  Nine months of preparation to meet your baby is a wonderful journey but also may help you approach labour feeling ready physically, mentally and emotionally.

Here’s a little research: In a study of 100 overdue women in the maternity unit at Walsall Manor Hospital in Walsall, England, researchers found that “more women went into labour sooner and needing less pain relief than those without reflexology”. The study was carried out by a team of midwives qualified in reflexology.

Reflexology study, Walsall Manor Hospital Maternity ward-

“The results of their study show that, overall, the length of the first stage of labour was four hours shorter than of those in the control group of women who had not had reflexology and that the second stage of labour, when the woman starts to push, was 21 minutes shorter. They also found that fewer women in the reflexology group 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.

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/2010/12/15/hands-on-method-to-give-baby-a-head-start/

Labour Pregnancy Acupressure Points

Is this you?

Swollen ankles puffed up like oranges, feeling like there are shooting pains running up your back, you cant bend down to put your socks on anymore.   40 weeks and your baby is so comfy and wont budge. (Due dates are, of course, just estimates and it’s common for most mums to go into labour one to two weeks before or after their projected due date).

Using acupressure techniques has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. The West is slowly accepting this technique and now some hospitals also have as part of its plan of integrative medicine. One of the best parts of acupressure technique is that it can be self-administered. Here are some of the acupressure points to induce labour techniques and maternity acupressure.

* HOKU  or L14*

 

If you are planning to use acupressure to induce labour then stimulating the Hoku point will help. It is located in the membrane between the index finger and thumb. This point is just above the region where the bone of the index finger is attached to the bone of the thumb. Massage this point with the thumb and index finger of your other hand to stimulate contractions.

Please read this study on its effectiveness.  The Effect of LI4 Acupressure on Labor Pain Intensity and Duration of Labor: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

* BL32 *

This point is just above the crease of the buttocks and can use the thumb to press and massage in circular motions. The way to locate this point is swipe your finger along the spine and stop as soon as they hit the depression in the lower back region just above the buttocks. Stimulation of this point by applying pressure and massaging it will help induce labour.

* SPLEEN 6 *

spleen-6

Place four fingers on the inside of the ankle just above the ankle bone to locate the spleen 6 point. This is where the finger is farther from land ankle. To induce labour, massage this point for a couple of minutes, keeping the pressure. By massaging this point in a circular motion and repeat the movement with the other leg.

* K1 * k1-solar-plexus

The K1 point is used during labour to help relieve some of the anxiety and nausea associated with pregnancy. This acupressure point is located at the base of the foot, just behind the ball of the foot. To be more specific, it’s right in the middle of the sole and you need to put pressure on this point, pushing the big toe. You can massage this point at any stage of pregnancy, helping to alleviate some of the work stress and nausea.

* P6*

p6Pressure point massage will help reduce nausea and vomiting associated with motherhood. To find this point, place three fingers on the wrist crease and feel the area between the tendons with the finger that is furthest from the wrist crease. Massage this point with the tip of the index finger for 1-2 minutes and repeat the action on the other hand.

* BL60 bladder-60

This acupressure point is used to help the baby descend into the pelvis and induce labour naturally during childbirth. The BL60 is located between the Achilles tendon and the lateral malleolus, in simple terms found in depression near the ankle. Grasp the area and apply pressure with your thumb, do this for 1-2 minutes at regular intervals to induce labour.

These are some of the points I press during Reflexology and Massage treatment to support my mums. I will always offer support and guidance after your session so that you can show a willing partner to do these for you at home.