Complementary Therapy During Pregnancy

Im Pregnant:

Can I have reflexology or massage?

Pregnancy is both an exciting and anxious time, your body goes through numerous physical and emotional changes as it anticipates childbirth and motherhood. In recent years more pregnant women are choosing to seek support at this important time in their life – alongside conventional maternity care – to help them relax and cope with any emotional and physical challenges pregnancy may bring. 

Yes, you can enjoy treatments during pregnancy but it is vital that every pregnant woman has complete confidence in their therapist. The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT), an accredited voluntary register, has provided clear guidelines for therapists to ensure their members are working safely and confidently. They recommend that while pregnancy in itself is not an ‘illness’, it is considered a contraindication or ‘red flag’ for many treatments. FHT members need to consider very carefully whether a particular therapy, technique or product is appropriate or needs modifying in order to protect the health and safety of the mother-to-be and her unborn child. 

At Breathe Holistic Therapy our therapist, Joanne Marie, has received advanced training on working with pregnant clients as set out in the first section of the FHT guidelines. We provide maternity treatments with the consent of midwives and require all pregnant clients to seek permission to treat prior to their first treatment.  It is crucial that while pregnant conventional maternity care continues as complementary therapy should never be seen as a replacement for such care.

Before all maternity treatments at Breathe Holistic Therapy a maternity check list is completed to promote the safety of the mother to be and her unborn child. This has been designed by a midwife and highlights how our therapist places safety as the corner stone for all treatments.

During pregnancy massage and reflexology the client's comfort is ensured with time taken to find appropriate positioning. Every pregnant client is unique and their own needs are at the forefront of the treatment as well as considering the wider safety requirements. Massage is undertaken in a side lying position with the bump supported and the hips comfortable aligned. Reflexology uses a comfortable reclining chair until reclining becomes unsafe. It is essential that clients are not laid in the supine position in later pregnancy as this can compress the inferior vena cava and cause dizziness in mother but more importantly, reduce oxygenation to the baby, at this point a couch is used with the Comfy Clientcushion system to maintain back comfort. 

Many pregnant women seek treatment in their first trimester when some difficulties such as sickness are most severe. Unfortunately treatments are not available until after the scan at the end of the first trimester. This is not due to there being any specific risks at this time but an insurance guideline based on the very sad fact that three in every four miscarriages occur during the first trimester. 

Pregnancy is a wonderful time and you can choose to enjoy massage and reflexology. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call 07531121199 or e-mail me.

Return to reflexology home page.

Posted on July 30, 2014 and filed under reflexology.