Debbie Graham, reflexologist talks about the benefits of reflexology for fertility and pregnancy

I often get asked what reflexology is, some people come along to their first appointment with very little understanding or knowledge of what to expect or how it works. If you imagine your feet, hands and ears are all mini maps of the body, by contacting and applying pressure on various points, known as reflexes, this sends messages to that part of the body through the central nervous system. As there are thousands of nerve endings on the feet, it is also extremely relaxing therefore bringing the body into a state of balance and rest and digest instead of being in a state of fight or flight. This is so important as we all know that unless our body is in balance it will not be working as optimally as possible.

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What to pack in your hospital bag

I admit it. Before having children I was a bit of a control freak. Despite having used hypnobirthing to prepare for the birth of my first child, I really believed that if I had everything on the 'list' then the birth would take care of itself - at least as far as the hospital side of things was concerned. Don't pack like I did...as if you are going on a round-the-world trip.

But if you are coming to the end of pregnancy packing your bags and setting them to one side can really help you feel more mentally-prepared. Here are some of the things you might like to think about including:

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What makes a good birth

Let me let you into a secret.

Before I was pregnant, over eight years ago now, I knew nothing about birth. Nothing!

I had seen two fictional births on TV.  Both stereotypical: waters breaking, dashing to hospital, birthing on the back on a bed, chin to chest with a stressed dad and midwife loudly shouting 'Push!!’

Now I know that this scenario is just a version and that your birth doesn't have to look like that. In fact, despite what we see on shows like 'One Born Every Minute', there are a few simple steps which can contribute towards a much more relaxed and peaceful birth.

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