Reflexology, acupressure and massage can all be wonderful during pregnancy and labor. Every pregnant woman deserves to have at least one massage per trimester, says I. Massages should always be performed by certified massage therapists, preferably one that is familiar with pregnant women. Acupressure, also referred to as reflexology, has the ability to trigger uterine contractions if done in specific points of the body, and should only be performed to induce labor after a woman is overdue to deliver. Avoid reflexology points until you are past your due date. To induce labor naturally using reflexology, follow these instructions:
For all points, apply pressure with your fingers to initiate a reaction in the point. You will know when you have found the right spot because it should be quite tender. If what feels like a contraction begins, stop the pressure. When the contraction stops, apply pressure again. The first point to try is located four finger widths above the ankle of each foot. Rub the area between your fingers. Next, try the arch of the foot. Another point is between the big and second toes. This point is about one finger-width below the space between your big toe and your second toe. You can also try the thumb point, which is probably the most effective one for inducing labor. It affects the pituitary gland, which releases oxytocin, the natural hormone in your body which is responsible for uterine contractions. Press firmly on the center of the thumb for three minutes, or until a contraction begins, whichever comes first. Then, switch to your other thumb. Applying pressure to any of these points will also help to reduce your pain while keeping your contractions frequent and successful when labor does begin.
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