Alternative medicine, also known as complementary therapies, has seen use in pregnancy as a way to manage certain symptoms. While these can be effective, it’s critical that you speak with your physician before using any form of alternative medicine. For all their potential benefits, these forms of care are not intended as a replacement for conventional medicine. Throughout the world, there have been numerous forms of complementary medicine developed. These include massage, acupuncture, and naturopathy, among others. You may also hear these types of care referred to as ‘integrative medicine.’
Why You May Opt To Use Complementary Therapies
Expectant mothers often experience concerns such as nausea and lower back pain during their pregnancy. This leads some of them to search for alternative treatment methods that can help ease their symptoms. Some women find that these treatments are beneficial while preparing for labor and that they reduce complications during birth. Below we’ve touched on some of the numerous alternative therapies available today.
- Acupuncture or acupressure – Lower back and pelvic pain can respond well to acupuncture or acupressure. Some evidence suggests it may be capable of inducing labor, though more research is needed. This practice is safe provided it is delivered by a properly trained acupuncturist.
- Chiropractic and Osteopathy – Another treatment commonly used to reduce lower back and pelvic pain. These treatments are seen as safe for expectant mothers.
- Massage – Stress and difficulty sleeping have both been said to be eased by receiving massage. It also works to aid in adjusting to how our bodies change during pregnancy. The abdomen is generally excluded from treatment. Massage is avoided in totality during the final trimester.
- Reflexology – Nerve clusters in the feet, hands, thumbs, and fingers are manipulated during the reflexology treatment. Some report that this method eases lower back and pelvic pain. It is considered safe for pregnancy.
- Naturopathy – Exercise, diet, and herbal supplements are the cornerstones of naturopathic therapies. Little research has been done into the effect of naturopathy on expectant mothers.
- Hypnotherapy – This practice has been said to reduce stress, and ease pains d u ring labor.
- Biofeedback Training – Teach women to understand how their bodies communicate with them is the focus of biofeedback training. Elevated heart rates, tense muscles, and other signs are observed during labor to ease the process.
These therapies are just the beginning of the complementary treatments available to the expectant mother. Your women’s health provider may prescribe iron, folate, and iodine base natal vitamins. Some complementary practitioners will provide herbal treatments that can aid nausea and insomnia. Before taking these herbal options, be certain to speak to your primary care physician.
Consult Your Women’s Health Care Provider
Your primary care physician and women’s health care provider are going to remain your primary source of guidance throughout your pregnancy. Expectant mothers may find some benefit from these alternative treatments, but they are not a replacement for conventional care. Before using any form of complementary care, be sure to consult with these providers. It may be determined that they are not safe for you or for your pregnancy.