My pregnancy with Nora was a walk in the park. I had very little in the way of symptoms and sailed my way through the almost 42 weeks (thanks for that lazy Nora) but this pregnancy has been so different. From the sickness from the moment I found out we were expecting, to the awful pelvic pain that kicked in at 24 weeks, I’ve had a little more in the way of a rough ride and it really got me feeling the need to be a little more prepared for the remainder of my pregnancy and of course for the dreaded L word!
I was recommended natal aromatherapy and reflexology by a friend and quickly asked my Mam her thoughts on it (it is a total dream having a midwife mum whilst pregnant, no question goes unanswered). My Mam had several reflexology sessions when she was having her breast cancer treatment a few years back and found it really relaxing so I thought I’d give it a whirl.
I booked a session with the lovely Liz who along with being an aromatherapist and reflexologist, is also a very knowledgable midwife so I knew I was in good hands. Liz started the session which she held in a beautifully scented, calming room in her home by giving me a whole host of information regarding the benefits of aromatherapy and reflexology in pregnancy and lots of information on maintaining a healthy pregnancy in general. Despite having a whole host of pregnancy knowledge already I came away feeling so informed and almost with a renewed sense of belief in myself that I can actually do this whole giving birth thing!
After the general information briefing Liz started the reflexology treatment on my feet. Now, the main aim of reflexology is to relieve minor ailments of pregnancy as well as increase relaxation and reduce stress. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am the actual queen of stress (stressy jessie is my nickname) so this treatment was totally made for me. The reflexology also helps with other antenatal symptoms such as backache, SPD, sciatic pain, headache, tiredness, sinus issues, heartburn, swelling… the list goes on! The session itself lasted around 55 minutes and was a little slice of heaven on a dreary Monday morning. I very nearly nodded off and felt so, so relaxed; it really isn’t often you get an entire hour to yourself without dealing with emails/calls/a small child insisting that ‘you be Woody Mammy and I’ll be Jessie’. It really was quite wonderful. Throughout the session the in utero baby made his presence very clear, I’ve never felt movement like it! Perhaps it was the sitting calmly for an hour that really allowed me to feel his rolls and kicks, I think it acts as a great bonding experience for mum and baby. Liz did warn me that I may feel a bit emotional or overly tired after the session and recommended that I drink plenty of water in order to aid the detox process which is encouraged by reflexology. I didn’t seem to experience any adverse side effects other than the fact I was bloody starving about an hour later – perhaps it aided with quick digestion!
Liz had also prepared some aromatherapy oils for me to use at home along with a handy ‘idiots guide’ to back and foot massage to pass along to Ste, poor guy. I’m hoping the massage and oils will be of great benefit during labour! The specially created blend of oils include a massage oil and more concentrated bath oil mixture including Lavender for relaxation, Ylang Ylang for calmness, Frankincense for anxiety but also helps combat stretch marks (total bonus) and Mandarin which is good for relieving stress. I must admit the oils smell amazing. I am so looking forward to a nice soak to experience the benefits, I could certainly do with restoring the balance and harmony of my mind, body and spirit.
I’m booked in for another session in two weeks time – really looking forward to it.
This service is offered through James Cook Maternity Services in Middlesbrough. If you’re after an Aromathery/Reflexology session I’d recommend you contact your antenatal midwife or local maternity department!