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Jules Doran Reflexology (MAR, MARR)Specialising in women and children’s
health and wellbeing in Prestwood

reflexology for pregnancy

I was pregnant with my first child when I began my reflexology training. I knew then that I wanted to help pregnant women feel as supported and nurtured as I did. Reflexology soothed my aches and calmed my mind and I would leave feeling somehow lighter. I also credit it with helping me feel more human as I struggled with PND following the birth of my second child.

I completed additional specialist maternity training and now today many of my treatments are during pregnancy or postnatal.

Reflexology helps to prepare a woman’s body and mind for the intense hormonal and physical changes caused by pregnancy. It can help relieve symptoms of many pregnancy niggles and relieves tension and stress to make for an enjoyable pregnancy experience

I provide a safe space for clients to voice any concerns and worries and as a mum of 3 I can nearly always relate! Sometimes my treatments are full of chat, sometimes not but I hope that following a treatment each mum to be feels relaxed and more prepared. I can will also advise mindfulness techniques and some self help hand reflexology tips when needed and many women ask for the playlist that I use during treatments to use for their birth to help them relax.

Much anecdotal evidence supports the benefits of reflexology whilst pregnant and several research papers to reinforce it.
Women who have regular reflexology during their pregnancies may experience;

  • significantly reduced pain during labour,
  • shorter first stage labour.
  • improved sleep quality postnatally
  • reduced anxiety whilst pregnant.

reflexology for each trimester, 1, 2 & 3
You can benefit from reflexology during each trimester, be reassured that there is no evidence that reflexology may contribute to a miscarriage, however some women prefer to wait until after their 12-week scan when they are statistically less likely to experience one.

Regular treatments during pregnancy can help to manage a range of symptoms common with pregnancy, such as; ♥ Odema and swelling ♥ Anxiety and stress ♥ Lower back ache and sciatica ♥ Headaches ♥ Constipation and digestive issues ♥ Sickness and nausea ♥ Anaemia ♥ High blood pressure ♥ Shortness of breath ♥ Restless legs and cramp ♥ Insomnia and sleeping issues ♥ Varicose veins ♥ Pelvic pain / SPD Symphysis pubis dysfunction ♥ Heartburn ♥ Fatigue ♥ Itching ♥ General discomfort.

    "Dr Gowri Motha's studies (1993/1994) on first time pregnant mums concluded that those who received at least 9 reflexology treatments during pregnancy had; far shorter labours, and required significantly less pain relief than those who had not received reflexology."

how many treatments do I need and what to expect?
Reflexology treatments received fortnightly or monthly are recommended throughout pregnancy and increased to once a week post 37 weeks. However I also see many women in the later stages of pregnancy for just one or two treatments.

Following a consultation I will create a treatment plan which will be tailored to your needs for each stage of pregnancy. This may include facial treatments and each treatment will also include lymphatic drainage techniques to encourage the body to flush toxins and to help reduce any swelling.

I will ensure your comfort using pillows and blankets and during the 2nd trimester I will recline the couch less steeply to prevent supine hypertension. Following the treatment I will not rush you to leave and will provide you with mindfulness techniques and self care hand reflexology if appropriate.

priming / preparation for labour from 37 weeks
From 37 weeks the reflexology treatments can be tailored to include specific reflexology techniques that are believed to help the body prepare for the birth. There is no evidence that reflexology will induce labour however it can help a woman to mentally and physically prepare for the body to follow a natural process. Relaxation is key and reflexology will help to reduce the stress hormones which can interfere with birth hormones and may delay the onset of labour and instead we want the body to produce feel good endorphins.

Ideally I would like you to have received at least 2 treatments prior to the preparation of birth treatments as this will help reduce the possibility of experiencing a healing reaction. Whilst normal and normally minimal, I would prefer to minimise these and during the preparation of birth treatments deeper pressure is used

Blossom & Nurture Pregnancy /Postnatal packages
♡ 3 x Blossom & Nurture
1 x 15 minute consultation,
3 x 1 hour appointments
1 x 15 minute facial reflexology add on (worth £15)

♡ 6 x Blossom & Nurture
1 x 15 minute consult,
6 x 1 hour appointments
2 x 15 minute facial reflexology add ons (worth £30)

At least one treatment must be pre 37 weeks. One may be taken up to 3 months post-natally with baby too.

Pregnancy & Postnatal. newborn postnatal

postnatal Treatments
Reflexology during this time encourages much needed relaxation. This helps reduce stress hormones, allowing your body to rebalance and recover from the physical, emotional, hormonal and lifestyle changes. It helps blood flow, promoting healing and supports the immune function of the body and studies have also shown that it can help encourage milk production.

I often provide treatments to mums whilst they are nursing their baby and I can come to you for a treatment in the comfort of your own home where you would have a bit more flexibility.

I found postnatal treatment so worthwhile following the births of my children so I am sympathetic to the challenges that this period brings. From personal experience I know it can help with post-natal depression and it has helped my clients with constipation, back aches, sleep issues and helped to improve mood and energy levels.

    “A 2018 study showed that women who received reflexology for 6 sessions had a significantly higher increase in milk volume over a 5 day period compared to the control group who had just received regular breastfeeding training. This indicates that reflexology is effective on the volume of milk of mothers."

contraindications when pregnant
There are a few conditions contraindicated during pregnancy; - DVT (deep vein thrombois), Pre-eclampsia, Placenta Previa, grade 2, 3 or 4 after 32 weeks, Oligohydramnios, pre-term labour, Hydroamniosis (polyhdramnios) or oligohydramnios (too much or too little amniotic fluid or placental abruption. If you have any concerns please consult your doctor or midwife

Pregnancy and post natal related research
The effects of antenatal reflexology on labour outcomes - Women who had reflexology whilst pregnant had a shorter labour by an average of 44 minutes. (carried out on women who had experienced low back and/ or pelvic girdle pain during their pregnancy
The Effect of Reflexology on Pain Intensity and Duration of Labour - reflexology can be useful to decrease the pain intensity and labour duration.
The Effect of Foot Reflexology on the Anxiety Levels of Women in Labour - Reflexology had a positive effect in lowering anxiety scores of the pregnant women. A decrease in anxiety experienced at birth improves women's positive birth experiences, promotes a secure mother-infant attachment, and protects postpartum mental health.
The effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep - Reflexology significantly improved the quality of sleep.
The effect of Reflexology on the Breast Milk Volume of Preterm Infants' Mothers - Reflexology received postnatally is effective on the volume of milk of mothers, and can be used along with regular lactation training.

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