In my last blog I wrote about my client Natalie who decided to have weekly reflexology to carry her through her first pregnancy. Nearly every week during the pregnancy I was able to pay special attention to Natalie's changing feet and body. I felt privileged to be allowed to be part of this very special time and to get to know baby Maggie in a unique way.
As a bit of background, more and more Reflexology Doulas are appearing in hospitals, birth centers and at home births around the world. In England this special training is given in using Reflexology for pain management, to encourage a stalled labor and to facilitate a smooth release of the placenta. In a 1992-1993 research project conducted by Doctors Gowri Motha, Jane McGrath and Ms. Zia Rowji, 64 pregnant women were offered Reflexology sessions from 20 weeks gestation to term. Thirty-seven of the women completed the set course of 10 treatments and had outstanding results in labor and birth: the first time mothers and the 20-25 year olds averaged 5-6 hours in labor (textbook is 16-24 hrs); second stage labor (pushing and birth), lasted an average of 16 minutes (textbook is 1-2 hours) and some had labor times of only 2 or 3 hours. It was also observed, that during the first few hours and days of the new babies arrival there was a calm, an understanding, a wonderful bond between mother and baby.
Now, what happened in the case of Natalie? Well in a message she sent to me shortly after Maggie's birth: ".........We think of you often, especially when massaging Maggie. ......She is already three weeks old! As you know, I had the baby the day after I cancelled our last appointment. I had felt achy and slightly weird all day on Tuesday and I woke up Wednesday to intense contractions around 7:30 am. The birth couldn't have gone better, but it was shockingly short. All my research and planning was for a long labor, and that got thrown out the window. Thank goodness my husband was so aware; I kept on insisting that we should stay home longer, but when he realized how quickly the contractions were coming he got us to the hospital right away. Good thing since Maggie was born at noon and we arrived at the hospital at 10:15! We had a natural birth and a good recovery. I don't like being in hospitals, so we were happy we could take steps to leave as soon as possible; we were home with Maggie on Thursday afternoon.
And since then it has been a whirlwind of amazing. She is growing every day; she is awake for longer, noticing things, holding on to objects (sort of), and holding our fingers with her precious hands. She is eating well, already is over 8 pounds, and I don't think my husband and I could be more in love...with her or with each other. Of course, everything is exhausting as well, but even that is different than I expected. I haven't had more than three hours of consecutive sleep (and that is rare), but I am still able to give my best attention to Maggie. It's quite powerful. We are trying to enjoy and share all this time we have together and take care of our baby girl. I will send more pictures soon. I hope you had a wonderful start to 2012! "
I got to meet Ms. Maggie in the spring and it was a wonderful reunion. She is a captivating and exquisite little person............with perfect little feet!!!