reflexology to induce childbirth naturally

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Preparing to give birth

Inducing labour naturally with foot reflex? Or foot reflexology to holistically prepare the cervix for medical induction of labour? What is it and what does it involve? Here’s an intro. As you prepare for the experience of childbirth, there may be a natural and holistic approach you have not yet considered – foot reflexology. This centuries-old practice has been used for ages to promote overall energy and balance in the body, but did you know that it can ease your birthing journey? From reducing sensations and discomfort to promoting balance and energy to sparking the birthing process, working with the foot reflex zones can offer a range of benefits for expectant mothers. So if you are curious about how this gentle and non-invasive methodology can enhance your childbirth experience, read on.

Encouraging parturition via pressure points feet

Inducing labour naturally via pressure points on the feet is a non-medical alternative to induce labour. For example, if you are almost overdue, or if you have a medical indication. The earlier you come, the better (but even if you are a bit late, you are very welcome!). Because in the Netherlands, usually around week 41, there comes a point when you discuss your options with your midwife or obstetrician. The options may be wait and see, strip or to medically induce childbirth. Then sparking the birth process via reflex zones and pressure points on the foot is a gentle way to invite labour. For example, if you want to give birth as naturally as possible, and if you have already started before, you and your cervix are already prepared.

“I would hereby like to let you know that yesterday I gave birth to a beautiful daughter; I would like to thank you again for the fine treatment, very pleasant and also with effect.”


How does reflexology work?

Foot reflexology is based on the premise that there are reflex points on the feet that correspond to different organs and systems in the body. By applying pressure to these reflex points, blockages can be removed. It also allows the energy in the body to flow better. The aim of foot reflexology is to bring the body into a state of balance and harmony. In this way, it boosts overall health.

History of reflex zone therapy

The story goes that Chinese acupuncturist Dr Ko Chung discovered that if he used his thumbs to apply strong pressure on the feet while the needles were in place, the effect was enhanced and extra energy was released. Then it was physiotherapist Eunice Ingham who early last century was translating the ancient knowledge from TCM into a Western approach in which foot reflex zones are related to certain body parts and organs.

When is the best time to start foot reflexology massages in preparation for childbirth?

The advice is to come at least once a week from week 37. This will prepare your body and mind optimally for childbirth.

  • Before week 40, the reflex zones of the body systems associated with childbirth can be balanced for optimal parturition.
  • From week 40, specific pressure points for arousing labour can be included
  • Are you less than 37 weeks pregnant? Then opt for a pregnancy massage.

“Very nice foot reflexology treatment that could also take place quickly (and at home!) in the 40th week of my pregnancy. Marise clearly has expertise and does her treatments with attention and kindness.”


Benefits of foot reflexology during pregnancy

In the nine months that you are pregnant, your body is constantly changing. Your body and mind are in full development to help you and your baby grow and thrive. Through the foot reflex points on the foot, nausea, aches and pains and constipation can be relieved. The systems involved such as the digestive and endocrine systems can also be supported through the reflex zones on the feet. The work form provides energy and balance and has the following benefits:

  • Relieves restlessness and tension
  • Improves circulation
  • Supports the immune system
  • Balances the hormone balance
  • Relieves pregnancy ailments such as insomnia, pregnancy sickness, heartburn and back pain
  • Contributes to the softening of the cervix
  • Promotes induction of labour when the baby is ready for it

What you need to know about foot reflexology and triggering childbirth

Foot reflexology is an ancient method that has been used for centuries to help induce labour naturally. This technique works by applying pressure to specific parts of the foot that are connected to certain organs and systems in the body. As a result, it stimulates uterine contractions and labour. This is done through a series of massage techniques applied directly to the feet.

Inducing contractions naturally

Perhaps you know the stories of women who gave birth after eating a pineapple. That sounds great and easy! But, now it seems that you need to eat about 8 pineapples to get enough of the substance quinine to have any effect. Whatever you choose or don’t choose, know that this too is an intervention. So weigh up what is important to you in choosing to wait and let nature do its work (baby knows best), or still do something because you want to have done everything possible to avoid a medical introduction, for example.

Why choose for reflexology to stimulate contractions?

Foot reflexology is a safe and natural way to naturally induce labour. It helps stimulate contractions and shorten the duration of labour. Moreover, it is a non-invasive approach that can be done in the comfort of your own home or at a practice. In addition, unlike medical procedures such as stripping or a caesarean section, a foot reflex consultation has no risks to mother or baby.

Medical induction: preparing for birth & opening cervix

If you and your obstetrician or gynaecologist opt for a medical introduction, you can start reflex zone treatment three days before. This triggers both the uterine contraction and the opening and softening of the cervix (dilation). So this is how you can help induce the birthing via foot reflex and prepare your body for the childbirth. This increases the chances of giving birth with as little intervention as possible.

What can you expect during a foot reflexology consultation to trigger labour?

During a foot reflexology session, you lie comfortably on your back on a treatment table with a backrest. Your feet and legs are covered with towels and pillows for ultimate relaxation. Therapist Marise then works on foot reflex zones to restore your balance. Any blockages hindering the natural start of labour can also be dissolved. In addition to foot reflexology to induce labour, I can also do a hypnobirthing relaxation exercise in preparation for labour.

Marise Bout hypnobirthing teacher dutch english

✓ Qualified complementary therapist with Basic Medical Knowledge

✓ 8+ years of experience

✓ Customised approach tailored to you as a person

✓ Integral approach with a toolbox full of nature-oriented methods

✓ Partial reimbursement from supplementary insurance often possible