During normal pregnancy total body water increases by 6 to 8 liters, 4 to 6 liters of which are extracellular, of which at least 2 to 3 liters are interstitial (1 : situated within but not restricted to or characteristic of a particular organ or tissue —used especially of fibrous tissue). At some stage in pregnancy 8 out of 10 women have demonstrable clinical edema.
Signs of edema include:
– Swelling or puffiness of the tissue directly under your skin, especially in your legs or arms
– Stretched or shiny skin
– Skin that retains a dimple (pits), after being pressed for several seconds
– Increased abdominal size
If left untreated, edema can cause:
– Increasingly painful swelling
– Difficulty walking
– Stretched skin, which can become itchy and uncomfortable
– Increased risk of infection in the swollen area
– Scarring between layers of tissue
– Decreased blood circulation
– Decreased elasticity of arteries, veins, joints and muscles
– Increased risk of skin ulcers
Specific Reflexology protocols taught by the Maternity Reflexology Consortium allow for symptom free adaptations of regular gains during pregnancy, management of gain levels throughout pregnancy, and management and reduction of high level gains to reduce symptoms and discomfort in pregnancy related to Edema.
Sources: PMID 9185112, Mayo Clinic
Pregnancy is a very exciting and ever changing time in a woman’s life, as well as the life of her partner. But with that excitement come many inconveniences, and in some cases, health concerns. And unfortunately, sometimes pregnancy ends in a loss which is devastating to both mother and partner and can have emotional and physical ramifications for mother that need to be addressed.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The pregnant woman can be supported and nurtured SAFELY through all 4 trimesters by a properly educated Maternity Reflexology Therapist.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Studies have shown that Reflexology in pregnancy :⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– Significantly reduced pain during labour (1, 2)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– Reduced the length of first stage labour (1, 2)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– Improved quality of sleep in post-natal women (3)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– Reduces the physical or psychological stressors in pregnancy which reduces complications such as pre-eclampsia, intra-uterine growth retardation, gestational diabetes, or pre-term labour (4)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Maternity Reflexology targets specific issues that can arise in Pregnancy with specialised protocols that are proven to help.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
(1) VALIANI M ET ALL (2010) Reviewing the effect of Reflexology on pain and outcomes of the labour and primiparous women. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research. 15(Dec) p302-310⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
(2) Dolation M ET AL (2011) The effects of Reflexology on Pain Intensity and Duration of Labour on Primiparas. Iran Red Crescent Medical Journal. 13(7) p478-479⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
(3) LI C-Y ET ALL (2011) Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep amongst post partum women, Midwifery. 27. p181-186⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
(4) TIRAN D, CHUMMUN H (2004) Complementary therapies to reduce physiological stress in Pregnancy. Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery, 10. P162-167 Available online at www(dot)sciencedirect(dot)com
Cystits and UTI in pregnancy can be very uncomfortable, but more importantly, Cystitis can be very dangerous in pregnancy. Cystitis, or inflammation or infection of the bladder, may be a maternal cause of early miscarriage in pregnancy [Maternity Reflexology Consortium] and should be checked by your care provider immediately if you have any suspicions of having one.
At least 5% of women can expect to develop at least one UTI during pregnancy; those who develop one have a 1 in 3 chance of an encore later. While bladder infections are more common among non-pregnant women, kidney infections are about twice as common in expecting women as bladder infections (or 2.5% of pregnant women can expect to develop Cystitis during pregnancy). [what to expect dot com]
While your first stop should always be with your medical provider in seeking diagnosis and medication for these types of infection while pregnant, MATERNITY REFLEXOLOGY PROTOCOLS help in encouraging natural immunity and promote the elimination of toxins to aid in the healing of UTI or Cystitis.
Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is the umbrella term that describes pain anywhere between your belly button and your pubic bone and sometimes in your thighs, during and after pregnancy.
PGP is a musculoskeletal condition that affects 20 per cent of pregnant women. More specifically, 14-22 per cent of all pregnant women have serious PGP with 5-8 per cent of these having problems with severe pain and disability.
Reflexology is used for various pregnancy related complaints. A three-armed, pilot randomised controlled trial was conducted to test changes in physiological and biochemical stress parameters. Ninety primiparous volunteers experiencing low back and/or pelvic girdle pain (LBPGP) were recruited to receive either six reflexology or footbath treatments or usual care.
Primary outcome data included pain intensity and frequency measured on a visual analog scale (VAS), and salivary beta-endorphin (pain relievers) and cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
61 (68%) women completed the intervention.
• A clinically important reduction of 1.63 cm occurred for VAS pain frequency following reflexology
• Beta-endorphin levels decreased by 15.18% for the reflexology group as opposed to increasing by 8.8% and 10.10% in the footbath and usual care groups respectively.
• Cortisol increased by 18.82% in the reflexology group as opposed to 31.78% for footbath participants, 31.42% in usual care.
Layman’s terms: pain down, pain relievers up, stress hormone lower
Reflexology during pregnancy may help reduce LBPGP, and associated stress. However, antenatal reflexology is under researched and requires further investigation.
Sources: pubmed 29705485 & netdoctor(dot)co(dot)uk
Hypotension is low blood pressure, especially in the arteries of the left sided systemic circulation. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps out blood. A systolic blood pressure of less than 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or diastolic of less than 60 mm Hg is generally considered to be hypotension. However, in practice, blood pressure is considered too low only if noticeable symptoms are present.
Hypotension is the opposite of hypertension, which is high blood pressure. It is best understood as a physiological state rather than a disease. Severely low blood pressure can deprive the brain and other vital organs of oxygen and nutrients, leading to a life-threatening condition called shock.
Advanced Maternity Reflexology protocols allow us to address Hypotension by encouraging blood production and stimulating the circulatory system. If you’ve been diagnosed with Hypotension in Pregnancy, or you’re feeling faint and dizzy, Adv Maternity Reflexology can help 💞
Source: Wikepedia/Hypotension, Susanne Enzer Advanced Maternity Reflexology Manual
Preterm labor occurs when regular contractions result in the opening of your cervix after week 20 and before week 37 of pregnancy.
Preterm labor can result in premature birth. The earlier premature birth happens, the greater the health risks for your baby. Many premature babies (preemies) need special care in the neonatal intensive care unit. Preemies can also have long-term mental and physical disabilities.
The specific cause of preterm labor often isn’t clear. Certain risk factors might increase the risk, but preterm labor can also occur in pregnant women with no known risk factors.
Signs and symptoms of preterm labor include:
Regular or frequent sensations of abdominal tightening (contractions)
Constant low, dull backache
A sensation of pelvic or lower abdominal pressure
Mild abdominal cramps
Vaginal spotting or light bleeding
Preterm rupture of membranes — in a gush or a continuous trickle of fluid after the membrane around the baby breaks or tears
A change in type of vaginal discharge — watery, mucus-like or bloody.
You might not be able to prevent preterm labor — but there’s much you can do to promote a healthy, full-term pregnancy. For example:
· Seek regular Reflexology care
· Seek regular prenatal care
· Eat a healthy diet.
· Avoid risky substances (smoking, alcohol, illicit drugs)
· Consider pregnancy spacing.
· Be cautious when using assisted reproductive technology (ART). If you’re planning to use ART to get pregnant, consider how many embryos will be implanted. Multiple pregnancies carry a higher risk of preterm labor.
If your health care provider determines that you’re at increased risk of preterm labor, he or she might recommend taking additional steps to reduce your risk, such as:
· taking preventative medications
· Managing chronic conditions. Certain conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, increase the risk of preterm labor.
Labour Priming in natural therapies works differently than it does in Allopathic medicine. Allopathic medicine calls it Labour Induction, which is by definition a medical intervention to artificially start labour, either with medicines (pitocin, cervadil…) or procedure (membrane sweeping, artificial rupture of membranes …).
How Reflexology for Labour Priming works is through learned protocols we check in with birther and babe to ensure everything is in order for a good and natural birth. If this is the case, then Reflexology for Labour Priming can start a process that wasn’t starting itself for whatever reason (anxiety by mom, anxiety of babe, imbalance of hormones or interrupted communication channels between uterus and pituitary/hypothalamus). If everything and everyone is ready, the birther and babe can expect action to begin anywhere in the 48 hours post Reflexology Session.
If, however, some finishing touches still need to be applied or if the birther or babe have some last minute processing to do or whatever the reason for delay of labour starting, Reflexology for Labour Priming helps put the finishing touches on, helps any processes sort themselves out etc and Labour will not start until everything is sorted accordingly.
Reflexology for Labour Priming can safely be received anytime the birther is 37+ weeks and has the “go ahead” from their obstetrical care provider . Generally these protocols are applied after 40 weeks to help avoid any medical intervention in birth.
Regular Reflexology throughout the whole pregnancy is shown to reduce 1st and 2nd stage labour times, reduce sensation associated with birth (pain), and speed healing times postnatally. Regular Reflexology throughout gestation can also encourage natural onset of labour, negating the need, in many cases, for natual or allopathic “induction” procedures.
Regular Reflexology sessions throughout pregnancy have shown to reduce 1st and 2nd stage labour times, reduce sensation associated with birth (pain) and improve healing times postnatally. But regular Reflexology sessions throughout your pregnancy can also help with the miriad of symptoms, side effects, and conditions of pregnancy as well. So, how often should a Pregnant person receive Reflexology?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Weeks 1 to 14: weekly or bi-weeekly treatments⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Frequent treatments during this Spring of your pregnancy help keep all hormones balanced which helps with symptoms of early pregnancy like fatigue nausea and frequent micturation. It also helps prevent loss of a viable pregnancy due to hormone imbalance or Chi imbalances.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Weeks 15-31: every 4 weeks⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
During the Summer and Fall of your Pregnancy, if you are not presenting with any conditions of pregnancy (oedema, hyperemsis gravidarum, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes etc..) then receiving treatment every 4 weeks is a recommended amount for preventative and maintenance of good health for both birther and babe.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Weeks 32-37: every 2 weeks⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
As we near the Winter of your pregnancy we advise to start receiving Reflexology a little more frequently to ensure all the processes are maturing properly, discomfort of birther is kept as minimal as possible and all organs and systems that are displaced in pregnancy are supported as much as possible.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Weeks 37-42: weekly treatments⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Again with entering the Winter and birthing stage of your Pregnancy we want to ensure the good health and balance of birther and babe, ensure all development is complete and of good quality, prepare the birthers body and mind for the birth process as well as that of the babe.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If the birther reaches weeks 40-42 then they may decide to start receiving Reflexology twice a week due to the amazing support and refreshment they receive from Reflexology sessions, as well as taking advantage of some Reflexology for Labour Priming protocols.
Is it OK to see other Therapists?
Maybe one of the more frequent questions I am asked by my clients is “is it ok to also have other therapies while having Reflexology” and the answer is an unmitigated, “Yes, but not within 24-48 hours of each other.”
A good number of my TTC clients also receive Acupuncture treatments or Mayan Abdominal Massage or Chiropractic – all therapies that are also proven to aid in the regulation of the body’s health and encourage Fertility.
But why the 24- 48 hour proviso?
Allowing 24-48 hours between the therapies ensures that any system that is trying to heal itself does not become overloaded by too much attention from multiple treatments in too short a time frame. Giving the therapy time to be affective and the body time to heal between treatments will ensure no mixed signals occur and healing is as linear as possible.
In every other way, all of these therapies work in such a similar way that they work to complement each other and speed the healing process for the body.