I was overdue with both of my boys. With Oliver, I was a week late. I didn’t really mind too much; I had worked right up to 39 weeks with him, so having a bit of extra time was a bonus. My pregnancy had been problem-free and I wasn’t too uncomfortable, so I was happy to leave it to nature to decide when the time was right.
With Max, I worked right up to my due date, so again, was pleased to have a bit of extra time to sort things out, batch cook a few meals and generally prepare for his arrival. However, the second pregnancy took its toll a little more in the final stages (not sure why, perhaps being 4 years older made a difference?) – I felt heavier, more tired and uncomfortable. So once a week had gone past his due date, I started to try a few of the classic tricks. I was booked in for induction, but wanted to avoid it, if at all possible.
I ate very hot curries. I ate my own bodyweight in pineapple. I went on very long walks. Still nothing was happening. Then I started to think about alternative therapies. I had never had acupuncture and although I have heard very positive reports about it, I didn’t want my first try of it to be in an attempt to bring on labour (as I am a bit of a chicken about the needles, to be frank!).
Then I started reading up on reflexology. I liked the sound of it as it is non-invasive and well, even if it didn’t work, it was going to be a relaxing treatment so I thought “why not?”
Reflexology is an alternative therapy which basically involves applying pressure to certain ‘acupressure’ points in the foot and ankle area. These points correspond to certain parts of the body and once pressure is applied to these points, then blocked energy is released.
I found a local practitioner and they told me they had pretty high success rates in bringing on labour. I guess they would say this! But it was a very relaxing environment and my reflexologist put me at ease right away, explaining which areas he would work on and that they would hopefully trigger a hormone to tell my body that it’s time to get going!
The treatment was so relaxing that I actually fell asleep. I never, ever sleep in the day – even when I am exhausted. When I woke up, I felt a bit dizzy and lightheaded but I put that down to having dropped off for a short time. I then went shopping with a friend (still feeling a bit strange), had dinner and went to bed as normal. This was Friday night. Then at around midnight, I woke up suddenly because contractions had started. They were painful enough to mean that I could not get back to sleep. I had a full night of irregular contractions….followed by a full day of them…and was eventually admitted to hospital the following evening. Max arrived after another long labour in the early hours of Sunday morning.
I honestly can’t say whether it was the reflexology which brought on the labour or not. I was 10 days overdue, so it may have just been my time – it’s impossible to know for sure. However, I would certainly recommend reflexology to anyone who is overdue – it’s got to be a safer bet than a vindaloo, right?