Reflexology and Pregnancy

By Kelly Hainsworth


Since 2008 when I established my practice, I feel privileged to have been able to support numerous expectant mums throughout pregnancy as they prepare for birth.  It is a wonderful journey to be part of and it’s so exciting when a client rings to share the news of their arrival.

Only last week the first email in my inbox was a beautiful photograph of my client’s new baby boy – what better way to start the day.


What is Maternity Reflexology?

It is an area of reflexology aimed specifically at women during pre-conception, pregnancy, labour and the post-natal period.

Why do clients have Maternity Reflexology?

Some ladies like support with pregnancy health niggles, as their body changes during the pregnancy, and for others it is time to relax and unwind, so they can prepare both physically and mentally before the little one arrives.

Can Maternity Reflexology shorten the duration of labour?

Research has shown that regular reflexology treatments during pregnancy can shorten the duration of labour, with subjects often requiring less pain-relief during the course of delivery.

A recent research study has shown reflexology in pregnancy significantly reduced pain during labour and reduced the length of the first stage (Valiani M et al – 2010 “Reviewing the effect of Reflexology on pain and outcomes of the labour of primiparous women” Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research. 15(Dec) p302-310)

An earlier study showed first-time mums who received 10 reflexology treatments prior to birth had average labour times of five to six hours. It was noted the group treated with reflexology needed far less pain relief during labour too. (G. Motha and J. McGrath – 1992 “The effects of reflexology on labour outcome”).

I am pregnant – what happens before a treatment?

As an experienced maternity reflexologist. I work in a complementary way alongside the skilled work of your midwife (your chief healthcare provider during pregnancy) and will ask you to obtain permission before reflexology treatments commence. Many midwives encourage my clients to receive a maternity reflexology treatment and are very supportive.

My advice

When choosing a maternity reflexologist, always ensure the reflexologist you choose has undergone specialist maternity reflexology training to effectively and safely carry out treatments during pregnancy.

Once you feel comfortable with your chosen practitioner, enjoy the experience. You will be amazed how great it leaves you feeling as you prepare for childbirth. If you have questions about maternity reflexology, I will be on Jo’s forum this week, so I will see you there :o)

Kelly x