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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Hutson

Foot & Ankle Massage with Pregnancy

Foot massage will NOT put you into labor!

Foot massage is not the same as foot reflexology or performing acupressure on the feet and ankles. You are not going to 'accidentally' stimulate contraindicated pregnancy acupressure or reflexology points while doing massage. it requires intention and attention to stimulate points.

"Honestly, if foot massage could put a woman in labor, I would have a line wrapped three times around my clinic with women at 40 weeks ready to lave their babies that day. I would have 15 massage therapist employed full time at every hospital in the nation, putting women into labor naturally with a good, deep foot massage, instead of initiating labor with drugs whose short and long term affects put mothers and babies at risk. Seriously! Think about it." -Rebecca Overson

There is zero scientific evidence that foot massage does anything besides feel good. Despite the prevalence of miscarriage and the fear of preterm labor gentle therapeutic massage on the feet and ankles is not an associated cause.

Four Common Reasons That Prohibit Ankle Massage

  1. There is still a common belief that pregnancy is a delicate or dangerous condition

  2. There is misinformation about uterine and ovarian reflexology zones located around the ankles

  3. There is misinformation about acupressure points near the ankles that may be used to support labor

  4. There is an underlying fear of being sued if a women miscarries after a massage


  • Under the medial and lateral malleoli are zones related to the uterus and ovaries

  • Dwight Byers, director of the International Institute of Reflexology, emphatic that massage cannot stimulate the uterine and ovarian reflexology zones, and that reflexology itself applied to these zones will not stimulate miscarriage or preterm contractions

  • Stimulation of pelvic reflex areas around the ankles produce relaxation and reduction of stress and can be offered safely throughout pregnancy

  • The effects of reflexology to the ankles may actually reduce the occurrence of miscarriage by helping nurture a healthy maternal environment and supporting the developing fetus

  • Reflexology cannot, does not and will not make the body do something unnatural

  • The balancing and harmonizing qualities of reflexology will enhance the women's own self-regulating mechanisms

  • Reflexology may give a boost of energy and tip a women into labor if her body was already prepared to birth, but cannot induce labor otherwise


  • Can be used to support the induction of labor when desired

  • Acupressure requires application of direct pressure stimulating specific points over a period of hours or days in order to have a lasting and cumulative effect

  • Acupoints that are often considered useful in efforts to stimulate contractions are located on the inner leg, hand, sacrum, and one adjunctive point just posterior to the lateral malleolus

  • Bladder 60 is the only point around the ankle that is referred to as contraindicated

  • Gentle massage or acupressure applied to the ankles with the intentions of relieving discomfort will not cause harm or induce labor, instead it can help reduce edema in the feet and therefore be beneficial

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