The last few days of pregnancy can be really uncomfortable, and if you’re overdue, you may be trying every trick in the book to bring on labour. We turn to reflexologist Keah Lan to ask whether reflexology can help induce labour, and exactly how it’s done.
How effective and exactly how does reflexology induce labour?
The days leading to childbirth can be quite stressful, often the doctor gives mom a date for the arrival of her little one and if she is over that date, mom can get quite stressed. The most valuable thing in reflexology for labour is calming the mother so she feels relaxed. The treatment will help to improve and stimulate several conditions that occur during the process and as a consequence, help the mother to better administrate her energies towards this task.
The points that help to induce labour:
- The pituitary gland – the reflexologist will apply firm pressure to the centre of the toe pads. Alternating between the right and left toe. They will sustain the pressure for at least 2-3 minutes on each toe. This helps to induce uterine contractions; you might even feel these during the treatment. The pituitary gland releases oxytocin, the hormone that induces labour. After the treatment you might notice some blood in your discharge, or that your contractions have started, sometimes contractions won’t start till that evening or the next day. The baby will move a lot during the treatment, this is normal.
- Spleen 6 – three or four fingers above the insides of the ankles – The reflexologist will apply pressure to this point, it will feel very tender, this point will also help to stimulate contractions.
- Adrenal glands – the reflexologist will work gently around this area, to help manage hormones. Adrenal gland secretions give the body energy, endurance, immune system strength and the ability to manage stress.
The female endocrine system consists of the pituitary, the pineal body, the thyroid, the adrenal and the thymus glands, along with the pancreas and the ovaries all these points will be worked to help labour along.
The reflexologist is there to bring about equilibrium and relaxation in the body to allow the mothers own body to set itself into labour.
I always recommend that mums get the “homeopathic birth kit”, these three remedies taken with reflexology can be very beneficial in labour induction (Caulophyllum, Chamomilla, Cimicifuga). The homeopathic helpline can give you telephone advice on how to take your remedies if you are in doubt.
How many treatments would I need?
If you have been having reflexology all the way through your pregnancy, the process of inducing labour might be easier. Some moms will have reflexology 3-4 weeks before giving birth once or twice a week, others might have reflexology when they are overdue, and have 2 hour sessions until they feel contractions coming on.
For more features about reflexology, click here.
NB: Always consult your practitioner before having a session.
Keah Lan, Reflexologist