Fertility and maternity reflexology
Conceiving a baby can be straightforward; at other times, it may be a longer journey. Reflexology is a wonderful way of supporting the conception journey for both men and women, sometimes in tandem with other alternative therapies (such as acupuncture and homeopathy) and/or IVF programmes.
Why choose reflexology when wanting a baby?
In a nutshell: reflexology is relaxing and improves wellbeing.
Whether trying to conceive naturally or undergoing clinically-assisted fertility protocols (such as IUI, IVF or ICSI), the deep relaxation offered by reflexology releases both muscular and nervous tensions, which optimises hormonal and circulatory systems.
Discomforts due to side effects from drugs might lessen, alongside anxieties that can affect the quality of sleep and the libido.
What is special about the maternity reflexology environment?
During each session, the practitioner puts the mother-to-be or father-to-be at ease, as an attentive and non-judgemental listener; if silence is needed, this is also respected. Sometimes clients fall asleep or enjoy a meditative experience. Reflexology sessions offer an oasis of peace that clients can look forward to in the midst of busy lives. Babies in the womb are known to benefit from the calmness of their mother.
The reflexology environment is such that the client feels free to be themselves. Since the session is confidential, the practitioner is a valuable witness to each individual’s particular journey from preconception to pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Can pregnancy-related medical conditions be helped by reflexology?
There are as yet no scientific studies proving that reflexology helps with specific medical conditions in subfertility and pregnancy, so no claims can be made. However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence in the affirmative. Testimonials abound regarding the usefulness of reflexology for fertility issues in both males and females, and for problems in pregnancy, but scientific research is still forthcoming.
Can reflexology help with labour?
Yes – there are several scientific studies concluding that reflexology is helpful in reducing pain, easing anxieties, and shortening the duration of labour, as shown in these references collated by Sally Earlam FMAR. There is proof that having reflexology can make a significant difference to the experience of giving birth.
Sophia Smith at work with a client. Photo by Theo Brainin.
"As a reflexologist, spiritual healer and birth doula, I am committed to helping to bring children into our world in as safe and beautiful a way as possible, while optimising the wellbeing of the parents.
I work inspired by Mother Nature, with preconception preparation, fertility issues, accompanying women through pregnancy, during birth and postnatally.
My teacher in maternity reflexology was the midwife and reflexologist Susanne Enzer, whose approach encompasses respectful awareness of the incoming soul (the baby).
I deliver safe, holistic and powerful treatments that encourage wellbeing during pregnancy. These include preparations for labour, particularly in the last six weeks of pregnancy, breech presentation and priming for labour for post-due date babies (with the consent of obstetric caregivers).
I have experience of supporting women facing inductions and other interventions, or who have had miscarriages, stillbirths, terminations, traumatic births or a history of abuse."