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Pregnancy & Maternity Reflexology


Reflexology can benefit a woman at every stage of her pregnancy, from conception through all three trimesters, during labour and even post-partum.  Pregnancy can be a stressful time for a woman and reflexology can help ease any anxiety and fear she may be experiencing throughout the pregnancy.  It is common for mothers-to-be to worry about many things during their pregnancy, from whether or not they are eating the right foods, to exercising enough or too little and to how they will cope when the baby is born. These worries may develop into anxiety and stress. If stress continues to manifest over long-periods of time, this could in turn result in poor pregnancy health where some of the more common conditions associated with pregnancy are exacerbated. Regular reflexology treatments throughout pregnancy will support mothers-to-be by helping them to relax, relieve tension and stress.   


Trimesters 1, 2, 3  

It is safe to receive reflexology throughout all three trimesters.  Having reflexology throughout maternity care is a safe and preventative therapy which can help with the common symptoms and conditions that affect women whilst they are pregnant such as:


  • morning sickness and nausea

  • lower back pain

  • sciatica

  • anemia

  • SPD/PGP 

  • heartburn

  • varicose veins

  • headaches

  • fatigue

  • constipation

  • cramp

  • high blood pressure

  • odema (swelling)

  • carpal tunnel syndrome

  • insomnia

  • itching

  • respiratory problems/shortness of breath


As the use of medicines whilst pregnant is limited, reflexology is a useful modality due to it being a non-invasive therapy.  It will help to enhance optimal health and well-being during pregnancy and in preparation for the birth.  

pregnant woman reflexology

Priming for Labour and Childbirth

There is no evidence that reflexology will induce labour, however, it does help the body to relax at a stressful time and to reach the optimium level for when the body is ready to go into labour naturally.  After 37 weeks, certain reflexes are stimulated that are connected to the induction of labour to ensure that they are prepared for when the body is ready to begin the birth process.  Working these specific reflexes will never cause premature labour.  During labour, reflexology can help with the common concerns associated with childbirth such as regulating contractions, reducing pain, backache, helping with urination/bowel movement, releasing retained placenta, normalising breathing and as a basic touch therapy for reassurance and comfort. 

sleeping newborn baby reflexology

Postnatal (puerperium) - the first 6 weeks

Reflexology can also help to restore balance and boost recovery in the post-natal period by helping with:


  • aching joints

  • caesarean section aftercare

  • after forceps delivery

  • after epidural anaesthesia

  • backache

  • breast engorgement and mastitis

  • lactation - improving milk production and quality

  • fatigue

  • perennial pain

  • post natal blues

  • post natal depression

  • urination difficulties

Maternity & Pregnancy Reflexology Treatments

Pregnancy & maternity reflexology initial treatments include a health, diet and lifestyle consultation which will allow me to design a personalised treatment plan.  We will discuss your pregnancy in more detail - for example any symptoms you may be currently experiencing as well as general info about where you are having the baby, your scans and any other relevant info to your pregnancy.


Whatever stage of your pregnancy the sessions can help bring your body into balance.  You will be able to move around during the session if required.  At the end of the treatment I will offer homecare advice to prolong the effects of the treatment. 


Reflexology in Pregnancy Research Studies

Two recent studies have shown that reflexology during pregnancy significantly reduced pain during labour (1), reduced the length of the first stage of labour (1) and improved the quality of sleep in post-natal women (2)


  1. Valiani M. et al (2010) Reviewing the effect of Reflexology on pain and outcomes of the labour primiparous women. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research 15(Dec) p.301-310

  2. Li C-Y et al (2011) Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep amongst post partum women. Midwifery 27. P. 181-186

Contraindications to having reflexology whilst pregnant

There are a few conditions considered to be contraindications to having reflexology whilst pregnant:


  • Fulminating Pre-eclampsia

  • Hydroamniosis (after 32 weeks)

  • Placenta Previa - if Grade III or IV after 32 weeks)

  • Oligohydramnios 

  • Threatened pre-term labour


If you are unsure it is always best to seek advice from your midwife or GP.  

The below images are examples of two clients' swollen feet/ankles before and after they had reflexology with Abi at Reflexology Room London
Swollen feet and ankles redued with reflexology
Swollen feet and ankles reduced with reflexology
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