Can Reflexology help during labour

Can Reflexology help during labour?  Researchers at a Turkish hospital have found out that it may help reduce levels of anxiety during labour.  When the women felt less anxious, they had a more positive experience of giving birth.  They were also better able to bond with their baby. In addition, their mental health was better after giving birth.  This was compared to a group of women who did not have reflexology during labour.

Reflexology During Labour Research

The researchers reported their results in 2018.  They found that reflexology has a positive effect on lowering the anxiety levels of women during labour.

The researchers worked with 154 women who were pregnant.  They chose women who had not given birth before.  When the women reached 3-4 cm dilation in labour, they had a session of foot reflexology.  The treatment lasted 30 minutes – 15 minutes on each foot.

Before the reflexology, the researchers asked the women about how anxious they felt.  They used a data collection tool called the Spielberger State-trait Anxiety Inventory.  This measured the level of anxiety that the women experienced. The researchers also asked about the level of anxiety experienced by the women during labour. They asked again just after they gave birth.

They compared the anxiety the women who had reflexology to a those who did not have reflexology.

Results of the Research

The researchers found that the group who experienced the reflexology had a lower anxiety score.  They remained less anxious during labour and after giving birth.   

The researchers also concluded that a decrease in anxiety experienced at birth improves women’s positive birth experiences.  Being less anxious also promotes good bonding between mother and child. It also has a positive effect on the mother’s mental health after giving birth.

Can Reflexology help during labour? This research shows that reflexology can positively support women before and after giving birth.

You can find the full research paper here if you would like to read more. 

For information about reflexology treatment during pregnancy, please click here.