Reducing pregnancy symptoms with reflexology.
Just as each new baby is unique, each pregnancy is uniquely different for every woman!
During one pregnancy, mum might experience a whole range of symptoms (nausea, discomfort, fluid retention), whilst during another pregnancy she may experience no symptoms.
In truth, pregnancy symptom causes are simultaneously complicated and simple. Ranging from family genetics, individual health factors, environmental impacts and even to the lived physiological body history of a woman. Along with any past experiences of physical, mental or emotional trauma (including miscarriage, phantom pregnancy or previous negative term birth outcomes), as well as how a body responds being pregnant, are all considerations to be acknowledged.
For many women, pregnancy can be a complete joy with really no adverse impacts outside of what is generally perceived as ‘normal’ - low or mild symptoms that do not affect the mother's pregnancy journey in a serious way. However, with every new pregnancy, the body is subjected to waves of hormonal changes which can invoke a whole series of episodic symptoms. If mum experiences more adverse symptoms, the sheer intensity can be overwhelming. Depending on age and/or personal circumstances, pregnancy can be a real challenge, and it is a relief when baby finally arrives into the world.
Common maternity symptoms include:
Morning Sickness, Nausea, Heart Burn
Pelvis or Hip pain / discomfort (bruised or throbbing sensations)
Fluid Retention (swelling)
Anxiety / Worry
Others include - quality of sleep, digestive assimilation / appetite and skin irritations (areas of redness and stretch zones).
All these are treatable with reflexology, either as a proactive, daily self-care regime, or through professional therapy treatments. The fact is, mum’s need not have to endure pain or discomfort unnecessarily throughout pregnancy and post birth. With regular care, connected to effective and appropriate therapy methods, the human body is able to transform into its new role with ease and grace.
So, how can reflexology work to help manage pregnancy symptoms?
The secret is in its simplicity and effectiveness.
It’s known that many early stage symptoms will repeat in the later stages. Relieving the onset of these with self-care reflexology has the effect of setting up resilience later on. As a guide: 1st Trimester = 1 to 12 weeks, 2nd Trimester = 13 to 27 weeks and 3rd Trimester = 28 weeks to term (40 or +).
The below diagrams are included as a general guide to assist a self-care process. Follow the key instructions which target directly to the impacted areas of the body to relieve, restore and revitalise body processes back to functioning supportively.
Morning Sickness, Nausea, Heart Burn
Reflex Area: Solar Plexus, Hypothalamus, Head/Neck Area
Diagram Reference: 1a
These are all related to hormonal and immune response to pregnancy. Usually experienced in 1st Trimester, they can also reappear in the 2nd plus 3rd trimester periods. Some mums even experience these symptoms through the labouring / birthing time, and in some cases post-birth too. By treating them early reduces the risk and intensity later on.
Pelvis or Hip Pain or Discomfort
Reflex Area: Inner Foot, Behind the Ankle
Diagram Reference: 3a & 3b
Ranging from bruised, throbbing sensations to sharp stabbing pain. Usually occurs from late 1st Trimester, recurring in parts or continuously through to birthing and postpartum. A consistent factor in these symptoms is pelvic and postural structural alignment. This is correctable by treatments at Reflex 2 Health.
Fluid Retention / Swelling
Reflex Area: Mid Foot & Hand, Dorsal
Diagram Reference: 2a
Fluid retention impacts at different stages but more frequent in later and near to birthing / post birth. Reduced swelling by direct stimulation of lymphatic circulation to increase flow restrictions, aided by legs being elevated, helps the whole body cope through pregnancy.
Anxiety / Worry
Reflex Area: Solar Plexus, Hypothalamus, Digestive Tract
Usually in the later stages, relating to the pressure of expectations from the mother herself or her perception of others. It’s normal to have some anxiety and this would be an expected response. The real issue is elevated anxiety and building towards being overwhelmed. The learned breathing techniques for labour can have a settling affect, as the woman prepares mentally to birth. De-stressing and creating a supportive atmosphere calms the mind and body.
Others include - quality of sleep, digestive assimilation / appetite and skin irritations (areas of redness and stretch zones. The reflex areas for these are also described on the above diagram, follow the instructions to help them too.
Working the described areas on the feet / hands daily by yourself (or ask your partner), reflects directly to that part of the body. This will help to reduce symptoms and will impacting how you feel – balanced, relaxed, and calm!
Maternity and family reflexology are two of my areas of expertise, and I have written several articles on how reflexology supports the wellbeing of new parents, babies, toddlers and teenagers. These articles highlight the benefits received from foot / hand reflexology massage applied daily, plus provide helpful information affecting natural laboured birthing outcomes and guidance for couples preparing for parenthood.
To find out more, see: