Reflexology treatments in pregnancy should be no longer than 35 minutes as expectant mothers can very quickly experience extremely profound reactions and a maximum of two treatments per week should be sufficient to produce the desired effects without risking an inadviertently strong healing crisis. Excessively long or frequent treatments may complicate the overall clinical picture and mask developing complications. Ongoing evaluation is important to identify the mother's responses to treatments and to assess what treatment is appropriate at each appoinment. The mother should be made comfortable and is best treated sitting upright rather than semi-recumbent. Pregnant women should not be positioned lying flat because the weight of the uterus compresses the inferior vena cava leading to dizziness from low blood pressure and a possible negative effect on the fetal heart rate.
The reflexology treatments themselves do not last longer than 35 minutes but the sessions, which last 1 hour, also comprise of relaxation techniques and gentle massage of the feet which produce much needed stress relief for the pregnant mother.
Reflexology offers the mother some much needed TLC and helps to reduce the stresses and anxieties that are normal during this momentous event in her life. Women receiving maternity care in the UK often feel unsupported because they have so little time to discuss their fears and worries and are left to cope alone with the many symptoms and concerns. Receiving regular treatments from a practitioner who they will get to know well can be extremely relaxing which leaves the mother calm and relaxed reducing the impact of some of the usual symptoms and complications that can arise. Reflexology can be effective in reducing discomfort and pain from problems such as backache, sciatica, headaches, constipation, heartburn and indigestion, nausea and vomiting and carpal tunnel syndrome and possible leg odema.