Reflexology Pregnancy Research


Women who received regular reflexology pregnancy treatments were more likely to have a shorter labour, require less pain relief and give birth closer to their expected due date.

The average first stage of labour was 5 hours (compared to textbook figures of 16 to 24 hours)

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The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Anxiety, Pain, and Outcomes of Labour

(Acta Med Iran. 2015 Aug;53(8):507-11. Moghimi-Hanjani, Mehdizadeh-Tourzani, Shoghi).

The study looked at the effect of reflexology pregnancy on pain, anxiety and outcomes of the labour. The pain was scored after the end of the intervention and at 30, 60 and 120 minutes after the intervention in those treated and a control group.

Duration of labour phases, the type of labour and Apgar scores of the infant at the first and fifth minute were recorded in both groups.

Application of reflexology technique decreased pain intensity, at 30, 60 and 120 minutes after intervention and duration of labour as well as anxiety level significantly. Furthermore, a significant difference was observed between two groups in terms of the frequency distribution of the type of labour and Apgar score.

Reviewing the Effect of Reflexology on the Pain & Outcome of Labour

(Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2010 Dec;15(Suppl 1):302-10 Valiani  Shiran E, Kianpour M, Hasanpour M)

88 first time mothers referred for vaginal delivery were randomly put into two groups.  Their Pain Rating Index (PRI) was monitored before the reflexology pregnancy and four times after the intervention at 3-5 cm, 6-8 cm and 9-10 cm dilatation aswell as during the second stage of labour. There was found to be no significant difference between groups before intervention.

However in the group that had undertaken reflexology, there was a noticeable difference between the PRI before and after the 4 stages intervention.  The length of active labour was considerably different between the two groups; although not significant during the second, and third stage. There was also a difference between the 1st and 5th minute Apgar scores and the rate of haemorrhage between the two groups.  

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