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Reflexology to induce labour?

(33 Posts)
Distracted Tue 05-Oct-04 10:11:49

I've booked myself in for a reflexology session this afternoon to see if it will help get things going for me as I'm now 8 days late (and have had 2 sweeps which haven't worked).

However, I've never had reflexology before, just heard it can work (and the reflexologist I'm going to doesn't specialise in this but is happy to give it a go - the midwife who was recommended didn't have time to fit me in and gave me the name of this other local reflexologist).

Does anyone else have experience of this?

ponygirl Tue 05-Oct-04 10:16:40

Hi Distracted. My MIL is a reflexologist and she gave me at least one treatment with all three of mine, and it didn't make the slightest difference. They were all late. It's nice anyway, though, so just enjoy it for what it is. Good luck, and I hope things get started for you soon - the waiting when you're overdue is truly dreary.

Turtle35 Tue 05-Oct-04 10:27:55

Distracted, the reflexologist I am seeing for my back does believe it can help but I am not sure a one off treatment will do the job straight away, it will start to enhance and wake up the hormones that need to kick off labour though so don't feel it's a waste of time, it has come recommended to me by many people and therefore must work for some. Good luck and like ponygirl said, it does feel great so enjoy.

unicorn Tue 05-Oct-04 10:35:20

Don't pin any hopes on it, for reflexology to be really beneficial you need to start having regular treatments at about 5/6 months preg.

It is not a magic cure, it can just help the body relax, and prepare itself for what is due to happen.

If you are ready anyway it may help, if you aren't then the most it will do is relax you.

I did as you with my first when overdue,(had reflexology along with a host of other things to try and avoide being induced) it didn't make labour start.

With ds I started sessions earlier really enjoyed it and felt it helped contribute to a more positive labour.

PPS I WOULD'T go to a reflexologist unless they were experienced with pregnant women.

(check out the assoc.of reflexologists, or the nct)

pupuce Tue 05-Oct-04 11:16:57

I agree with unicorn.....
1 week late is nothing.... why are you trying to get this baby out so "soon"?

Distracted Tue 05-Oct-04 17:39:46

Thanks for all the comments - I did go along and if nothing else it was very enjoyable and relaxing and that can't be a bad thing in itself.

Although she doesn't specialise in 'stimulating the uterus' she is registered with the association of reflexologists and was recommended to me by a midwife reflexologist (who couldn't fit me in herself). The midwife had trained her in this area it seemes.

I know 8 days late is nothing but I don't really want to be induced on Saturday so would like to feel that I have tried other more natural methods first.

Probably, as people have said, I needed to have more sessions and the ideal is to go throughout pregnancy, but it's not something I'd thought of before now! However, she did say that certainly with a first baby one session wouldn't do much, but she thought with subsequent babies one session could sometimes do the trick. So we'll see - it was certainly v. nice.

Turtle35 Tue 05-Oct-04 17:46:50

Distracted I went to my reflexologist today and spoke to her about it bringing on labour, I go for pain in my back and hips, the way she described it was, it will heighten the senses you need to hopefully get the baby moving, she explained it so much better but I do think at the very least it relaxes you and that's a good thing!!! as soon as she startes touching my feet the baby starts moving around like crazy, I think my baby likes it

myermay Tue 05-Oct-04 18:57:24

Message withdrawn

pupuce Tue 05-Oct-04 19:37:36

Glad you enjoyed it.... if anything as you say it is very nice !
You know (I presume) that you can decline an induction..... There is no reason for your baby to not come on its own usually!

unicorn Tue 05-Oct-04 20:05:35

pupuce, I wondered about that with my first,and held out as long as I could by agreeing to be monitored etc everyday, but at 12 days overdue the hospital was having no more, and started coming down heavy on me ( telling me horror stories of placenta failure etc)

So I had to have the induction... my dd was definately NOT ready to come out (she wasn't even engaged fully!)...

It is a really tricky situation to be in, especially for your first.

pupuce Tue 05-Oct-04 20:16:27

Unicorn... you shouldn't be monitored that's useless.... sorry! You should be scanned every other day to check placenta and amniotic fluid level... which is what may go wrong, how are you suppose to do that by monitoring ????

It's an old trick from hospital.

Some hospitals have no problem letting you go to 43 weeks (if you agree to the scan).

unicorn Tue 05-Oct-04 20:20:27

wish I had known that then!
They were very heavy handed, and naturally I felt extremely vulnerable.

Distracted Tue 05-Oct-04 22:02:42

Turtle - like you I did find the reflexology really got my baby moving around. That was actually quite reassuring in itself, as last night I had a bit of a false start and lots of cramps, backache etc. and then today had felt hardly any movement. Was beginning to worry a bit, but baby was VERY active during the reflexology. Also could really feel something happening some of the time she was working on my pelvis/uterus. So, we'll see - was worth going just for the relaxation.

Re. induction, I know I can refuse, but really don't think I want to. I've had poor sleep since 6 months as I'm enormous and pretty fed up with it all. Also, not keen on the idea of placenta failing etc. and scans every other day would be a nightmare as hospital is 1 hour drive away - that would just be the last straw. So if I get to Saturday then I'll go with having my waters broken. Just wanted to feel that I'd tried most other options first.

rosies Wed 06-Oct-04 09:49:32

i am a reflexologist that specialises in maternity care. yes it is better to try and have regular treatments during pregnancy. this not only relaxes you but it, in my experience, has a good effect on the baby too, in as much as they seem calmer after being born.

i think that you will also find that as the treatment starts, the baby gets very active but by midway through, begins to settle and relax, as you do.

regular treatments also balance the hormones, regulate the digestive system, strengthen muscle and bone with renewed circulation and boost the immune system... all very important during pregnancy.

ok, onto natural induction. lets make this quite clear... if baby aint ready to come, nothing will shift it... not even natural induction, however, i have had good success in getting things going using specialised techniques, that also call on acupressure. we refer to it as energising the area and therefore, the baby gets a burst of energy to, to help with his journey.

i often only see the mum once, unfortunately for me, but one treatment (if everything is in order) will do the trick. do also keep a positive mind... it could be you delaying events if you begin to take on negative thoughts about labour. look forward with enthusiasm and joy to your new edition.

best wishes

rosie

Distracted Wed 06-Oct-04 15:25:56

Thanks Rosie, shame you aren't local to me (you're not in Wiltshire are you?)

You could be right about negative thoughts, I have wondered that as I've been quite scared. I'm a bit more positive about wanting it to happen now. After today I've got 2 more full days before induction on Saturday so fingers crossed (can't believe I will really need to be induced as wasn't last time - surely should be less likely second time, but perhaps more worried than first time as bad experience last time...)

Will think positive thoughts

rosies Wed 06-Oct-04 16:23:02

'fraid not, distracted... have you tried a hot bath, a hot curry or a hot bike ride, not necessarily in that order?

unicorn Wed 06-Oct-04 16:37:47

and of course... hot sex!!!!

rosies Wed 06-Oct-04 17:47:50

lol... i knew i'd forgotten a hot thing! its just not at the front of my mind at the mo!

Turtle35 Wed 06-Oct-04 18:42:54

Distracted, I really hope this happens for you soon, I would be feeling the exact same way, I have two weeks left and am dreading going over DD.

Is there any chance you/hospital got the dates wrong?

Rosies, I am very interested in the acupressure you mentioned to get things going and give the baby energy, are you based in London?

rosies Wed 06-Oct-04 22:30:16

i am based in surrey, a little south of london (near croydon).

princesspeahead Wed 06-Oct-04 22:37:09

distracted I book a session with a reflexologist at 11am on my 10th day over - she cancelled as she had food poisoning - and I had ds2 that evening! So if I HAD gone to the appointment, I'd now be writing telling you how fab reflexology was. As it is, I can't tell you anything either way I'm afraid. But I am in wiltshire and the reflexologist is in Marlborough fwiw....

good luck!

princesspeahead Wed 06-Oct-04 22:37:37

sorry, "booked", not "book"...

Distracted Thu 07-Oct-04 11:57:20

Yes have tried all the usual! Today is day 10 and I'd had my previous dd by now (went into labour on day 9, had her day 10). Somehow you don't think you'll be as late with subsequent babies, but I suppose it's not as logical as that!

I have v. regular cycles and so my dates are pretty much spot on - in terms of actual conception, I've got a pretty good idea (as was 1st attempt) and the most my dates could be out is 2-3 days, which at the outside would make today just 1 week late rather than 10 days. Leeway on dates was exactly same with previous baby though - pretty much knew exact day of conception with her and on that I went into labour exactly 1 week over.

Don't think reflexology worked, but it was still worth doing as I enjoyed it.

rosies Thu 07-Oct-04 12:30:22

hi distracted,

sorry you are feeling a tad fed up... babies, eh? have us jumping hoops from day one of conception it seems!

i was just re reading your first post. blimey, your reflexologist is lucky that the midwife recommened her! i visited my local midwives, had a chat with them etc told them what it was all about and i have had one lady for a treatment... its been about a year since i made contact!! your midwife is very forward thinking.

ok... if nothing has happened by dp getting home, sit yourselves down and get him to rattle your ankles about, hands either side, just below ankle bones and go back and forth... it shouldnt hurt you... it just shakes the pelvis up a bit. get him to rotate with his thumb in circles, just below inside ankle bone, half way to heel. and up the inside of your leg, say 4 finger widths from top of ankle bone, it will feel like a bruise... moderate pressure there.

have fun!

Distracted Thu 07-Oct-04 14:19:51

Rosie - thanks for that tip. I can remember that the area under my ankle bones really seemed to stimulate my uterus when I had the reflexology session - definitely had a sensation of pressure, like mild braxton hicks when she did that, so will try

Shame your midwives are not v. receptive. There are adverts on the noticeboard at my local clinic for reflexology, homeopathy, cranial osteopathy etc. I did specifically ask the midwives about the reflexology and they said they'd seen people have very good results, so were very 'pro' reflexology. They actually recommended originally a midwife they knew who practiced (not one who worked there but in another town). The midwife reflexologist couldn't fit me in but recommended the lady I did go to, who I think she had given special training to in this area. Maybe you could try your midwives again or just ask if you could put up a leaflet on their noticeboard?

rosies Fri 08-Oct-04 10:17:06

so... did you give it a go??

Distracted Fri 08-Oct-04 11:31:08

I did and I'm still here . Think we did manage to get the right place though - didn't feel anything to start and then baby started jumping around and did get some sensations of pressure/mild braxton hicks, so think he was doing the right thing. Although he was rather 'pinching' my ankle rather than rubbing it in the way the reflexologist did as couldn't properly explain to him and also had no massage oil.

Maybe we'll try again tonight as it's my last night before induction. Also had a final sweep this morning so have tried most things now. And one way or another I think the baby will be here by the end of tomorrow (as having waters broken rather than gel and if that doesn't work will be straight onto the drip apparently).

pupuce Fri 08-Oct-04 12:19:19

Distracted - you can use olive oil for this massage.

Good reflexology point from a friend - the woman must be standing - you place forefinger under middle of fleshy part of big toe and use a pinching movement with your thumb on the nail. The woman should move her weight forward, This stimulates the hypothalmus/pituitary and might well get things going. Stimulate the point for a while.

Also try asking yourself if you are maybe anxious about this baby coming? don't have names picked out, room not ready, worried about how other child will react, how life will change,.... basically is something holding you back?

unicorn Fri 08-Oct-04 17:07:42

Distracted...
enjoy tonight (pineapple curry with raspberry leaf tea followed by massage + er hot sex (inc nipple stimulation )
Try and relax (ha!)and I'll start the ball rolling by sending you lots of positive vibes for tomorrow.

Best of luck!

Distracted Fri 08-Oct-04 17:13:46

Thanks both - have to say Unicorn I tried most of that last night, can't face any more tonight, will finish off my pineapple and get an early night I think. Will be my last undisturbed night (assuming things don't start spontaneously between now and morning) Thanks for the positive vibes, think I need them (Pupuce you're probably right about things holding me back - bad memories from last time etc.)

rosies Fri 08-Oct-04 18:37:58

good luck anyway, distracted!

the techniques i gave you were just a few of what is included... but its difficult to explain many of them.

SMILEY21 Sat 30-Oct-04 18:39:27

AS A MIDWIFE REFLEXOLOGIST I CAN RECOMMEND REFLEXOLOGY TO INDUCE YOU- FAR BETTER THAN THE HOSP INTERVENTION. I HAVE HAD GREAT RESULTS SO GIVE IT A GO!

TheReflexologist Thu 01-Nov-12 17:55:22

I am also a Reflexologist in Central London and have seen great results with inducement. Sometimes you may need more than a single treatment, ideally a few before your due date is advisable. It is also a great way to calm the body and rebalance the hormones after birth.

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