Given the number of young children in the area, and the shortage of places at local nursery and primary schools, you would think everyone had children, and more than enough. But for many hard-working couples trying to conceive is the hardest thing in the world, and studies show that one in seven couples suffers from infertility.
For many, the problems with fertility and conception stem from our modern lifestyle, which leads to many of us feeling: too busy, too tired and too stressed!
But there is hope; through the use of infertility clinics and alternative therapies such as reflexology.
Some of you may have seen recent TV programs and newspaper articles about the benefits of reflexology for couples struggling to have a baby.
A few weeks ago on BBC2 Professor Kathy Sykes from Bristol University explored the controversial and increasingly popular world of alternative therapies. In her series of programmes she looked at hypnotherapy, reflexology and meditation. In the program on reflexology Professor Sykes spoke to a reflexologist from Sheffield who is called the 'baby maker' following her success at helping 'infertile' couples realise their dreams of having a baby.
A few years ago the Daily Mail also ran an article about Cathy Shipton, who plays Duffy in Casualty. According to the article, Cathy had been trying for a baby for four years, and she eventually got pregnant four months after twice-weekly reflexology sessions!
Reflexology is successful in this area because it helps the body prepare for conception by clearing out unwanted toxins, balancing the body's energy systems and providing a wonderful feeling of relaxation and calm, which is so essential for conception.
And even after conception reflexology can be useful, as it helps relieve morning sickness, back ache, constipation, fluid retention and swelling during pregnancy, as well as helping with the development of a healthy baby. As an indication of how useful it can be for pregnant women, some NHS trusts now offer pregnant woman reflexology as part of their care package.
For example Midwife Joan Taylor and nine of her colleagues now offer maternity care therapy services at Forth Park Hospital in Kirkcaldy, using funding from the Jennifer Brown Fund, as they recognise the benefits for pre-conceptual, anti-natal and post natal care. Many midwives use reflexology to help induce labour (much better than drinking caster oil!) or help with the pain and discomfort of childbirth.
Finally, reflexology can be use to alleviate postnatal symptoms, such as: tiredness, depression, urinary infections, discomfort in the breasts and difficulty with breast feeding, not to mention helping a mother adjust more easily to the stresses and demands of looking after a new baby.
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