Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork: Research, Education, & Practice, Volume 14, Issue 1, p.21-29 (2021)



Background: Reflexology may help induce labour and reduce pain during childbirth. Fear of pain associated with childbirth leads to increase in the irregular use of cesarean method.

Purpose: This study was performed to evaluate the effect of reflexology on relieving labour pain and assess the recipient's opinion regarding foot reflexology.

Setting: The study taken place in the labour room, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kerala, South India.

Participants: 50 primigravida patients experiencing labour.

Research Design: A quasi-experimental study design was used. Subjects were selected by convenience sampling technique with the first 25 patients allocated to the experimental group and the successive 25 primigravida mothers to a time-control group, to avoid data contamination.

Intervention: Intervention consisted of foot reflexology applied by a trained therapist to five pressure points of both feet that correspond to the uterus. Total intervention time lasted 20 minutes. Control group rested quietly for 20 minutes to serve as a time control.

Main Outcome Measures: Pain associated with labour was recorded on a visual analogue scale immediately prior to intervention, and at 20- and 40-minutes postintervention. Patient satisfaction with reflexology treatment was recorded.

Results: Mean baseline pain score in foot reflexology group was significantly reduced across the study timeframe relative to control group ( < .001). Post hoc tests confirmed a reduction in labour pain at both the 20-min ( < .001, 95%CI 0.764-1.796) and 40-min ( < .001, 95%CI 0.643-1.677) time points. Eighty-one per cent of patients would recommend reflexology during labour.

Conclusion: The findings showed that foot reflexology was effective in relief of labour pain, with a high degree of patient satisfaction in primigravida mothers.

Cite this Research Publication

M. Mohan and Linda Varghese, “Effect of Foot Reflexology on Reduction of Labour Pain Among Primigravida Mothers.”, International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork: Research, Education, & Practice, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 21-29, 2021.