Is Reiki safe during pregnancy?
Reiki is completely safe for both mother and baby. This includes during pregnancy, during labor and deliver, and post-partum. The Reiki energy is coming from God/Source/Spirit, which is only love. It can never cause harm and is totally safe in all situations.
In the remaining sections of this Blog post, I will provide information about a variety of topics related to Reiki and pregnancy. Some of the following information are based on research studies, while others are based on self-report data from mothers, fathers, midwives, and Reiki Practitioners who specialize in working with pregnancy. The topics I’ll address will include:
- Benefits of Reiki during pregnancy
- Tips for treatment during pregnancy
- One caveat about Reiki during pregnancy
- Interesting note about the baby’s reaction to Reiki when in utero
- Benefits of Reiki during labor and delivery
- Tips for treatment during labor and delivery
- Benefits of Reiki postpartum
- Receiving Reiki attunements while pregnant
Benefits of Reiki during pregnancy
Here are just some of the benefits that have been reported when a woman receives Reiki during pregnancy. Sometimes, just one session is all that is needed. However, the greatest benefits are usually derived from on-going sessions:
- Reduces nausea/morning sickness
- Relieves exhaustion
- Improved sleep
- Relieves pain (e.g., lower back)
- Improved mental health (e.g., decreased reports of depression)
- If the mother is anxious about the baby not moving, receiving Reiki may produce movement as the baby wiggles inside the womb due to the energy received
- If father/partner provides Reiki, then the mother feels supported and there is increased bonding with the baby
Tips for treatment during pregnancy
When working with women who are pregnant, some adjustments may be needed. One of the most common adjustments occurs at the certain point during the pregnancy when it becomes uncomfortable for the mother to lie on her back during healing sessions.
Solution: Have her lie on her side. The treatment session will be much more enjoyable for her, and it will be equally as effective.
However, if you offer this option, be prepared with a lot of pillows. Given she is already feeling “front-heavy” and also feeling protective of her baby, here are some recommendations:
- She will definitely need a pillow for her head.
- Offer her a pillow that she can hug in front of her. This recommendation was provided to me by a midwife and has proven to be very helpful.
- Offer her a pillow for between her legs.
If she is having back strain issues (very common), then having her on her side is convenient because you can reach her back more easily. Although the energy will go where it needs to go (i.e., it’s guided by Spirit), it does feel very comforting to the mother to feel your energy directly on her back.
One caveat regarding Reiki healings during pregnancy
Whenever someone receives a Reiki healing, there is the possibility of a cleanse. Receiving Reiki is not the only catalyst to cleanses. Here are just a few common causes:
- A major change in diet (e.g., changing from meat-eating to vegetarian or vegan)
- Receiving healing treatments such as acupuncture, acupressure or massage
- Taking supplements to promote a cleanse of the body (e.g., liver or colon detox)
Cleanses happen when toxins or negative energy is released from the body, which promotes healing. Typically, a cleanse only happens if someone engages in something that is a major change. Therefore, the possibility of a cleanse increases if someone is receiving their first Reiki treatment or it has been a long time since their last healing.
It’s likely that a pregnant woman who is seeking Reiki services is doing so for a reason (e.g., physical discomfort, sleep problems). Due to the chance of a cleanse, we don’t want to add anything more to her discomfort.
Therefore, it’s best to start slow and see how she responds before increasing session length or frequency. I always recommend starting with several short treatments (e.g., 15-20 minutes every few days) rather than one longer treatment (e.g., 60 minutes).
Interesting note about the baby’s reaction to Reiki in utero
As the mother receives Reiki, so does the baby. It is very common for mothers to report one of the following:
- The baby in utero will become very quiet (i.e., take a nap)
- The baby in utero will become very active (i.e., start kicking)
I’ve been blessed to give Reiki to quite a few pregnant women, and I have continued to have contact with many of them after their baby is born.
Here is an interesting observation: How the baby reacts when the pregnant mother receives Reiki can provide the mother with a “sneak peek” at how the baby may react to Reiki once it has been born. Let me explain:
- If the baby calmed down in utero when the pregnant mother received Reiki, then this usually means that the baby, once born, will react to Reiki by calming down. This is the “typical” reaction to Reiki.
- However, more than a few pregnant mothers have reported that if their babies became more energized in utero when she was receiving Reiki, then once the baby is born, the baby tends to get energized when receiving Reiki. Although somewhat rare, some people do find Reiki to be energizing rather than relaxing. If this is the case, then it is best not to give this baby Reiki right before nap time or bedtime.
Benefits of Reiki during labor and delivery
There is a lot of research supporting the positive impact of mother’s receiving Reiki during labor and delivery. Many of these results are due to Reiki having a calming/relaxing effect. Just some of the findings include:
- Reduces fear and anxiety
- Eases pain
- Increases the likelihood of vaginal deliveries and decreases cesarean sections
- If father/partner provides Reiki, then it gives this person something to do to help their partner and the child about to be born
Tips for treatment during labor and delivery
I assume it goes without saying that the mother is in charge during labor and delivery. Although she may have requested that Reiki be performed during labor and/or delivery, be open to the possibility that she may change her mind once the time comes. Follow her lead!
There are many different ways that mothers may react to Reiki:
- Some mothers love receiving Reiki in between contractions, but not during contractions.
- Other mothers were excited to receive Reiki, but they find that the energy of Reiki is irritating.
- Reiki may be fine during the early stages of labor but not later.
If you are blessed to be able to provide Reiki to a mother in labor, many of the tips provided in the previous section about pregnancy can be helpful (e.g., body position, use of pillows). But again, the mother will often let you know exactly what she needs (or doesn’t need). Listen to her!
Benefits of Reiki postpartum
Again, research studies show that there are many benefits associated with receiving Reiki postpartum. Here are some of the findings:
- Decreased incidence of postpartum depression
- Improved sleep
- Increased milk production
- Improved bonding with the baby
- Reduces normal stress associated with bringing a new baby into the family
NOTE: Babies who receive Reiki often sleep better, have fewer medical conditions (e.g., colic), and experience accelerated motor skill development.
Receiving Reiki attunements during pregnancy
When a woman who is pregnant (or suspects she might be pregnant) feels guided to take Reiki classes, this is a very common and understandable question.
When I first began teaching Reiki and was asked this question, I asked my Reiki Master. She didn’t have an opinion about this topic. Consequently, I had to turn to a “higher source” and ask my guides. Here’s what they have told me on numerous occasions:
- Receiving an attunement is totally safe for both mother and baby.
- The mother should be forewarned that there is a possibility of a cleanse after receiving an attunement. That way she can make an informed choice.
- The baby will NOT be attuned to the Reiki energy when the mother is attuned. For example, if the mother is attuned as a Reiki I Practitioner, the baby will not come out of the womb as a Reiki I Practitioner. They explained that whether or not a soul decides to pursue being attuned to the Reiki energy is a matter of free will. Yes, the baby is a fully developed soul, but it is not yet capable of expressing its wishes. Therefore, it will not be attuned to the Reiki energy until it can verbally express its desire.
- Portions of this Blog post include excerpts from Anne’s Reiki I manual.
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By Anne Reith, Ph.D.