pregnant woman having a checkup

Should You Consider Alternative Therapies During Pregnancy?

Your health is paramount, especially when you’re pregnant. So everything you do has to be carefully considered, from your diet to your leisure activities. One of the most crucial aspects to approach is health care.

But you may want something less clinical and pharmaceutical. You may prefer more natural remedies, and alternative therapies may be what you’re after.

Are they safe and effective?

Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Pregnancy

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) covers mind-body interventions, from yoga to meditation, energy healing, from reiki to tai chi, alternative medicine, from acupuncture to homeopathy, and body-based methods, from massage therapy to chiropractic care.

Such therapies are deemed generally safe for pregnant patients. But they should be considered and performed along with conventional medicine. Each form of treatment comes with a set of benefits, most of which have to do with reduced prescription medicines.

Instead of managing discomfort and pain related to pregnancy through pain meds, you could check an experienced chiropractor near you to handle musculoskeletal conditions.

A massage could also help, but a licensed chiropractor may be able to do more since they have had more extensive education and training in treating pain as well as soft tissue and bone conditions. Although they are not medical degree holders, some will specialize in certain areas and gain further education.

What chiropractic benefits can you expect? An experienced chiropractor will not only be able to manage your back pain. They may also help you with sciatic nerve pain, round ligament pain, and sacroiliac pain. Treatment may lead to more manageable labor and delivery, along with making sure the baby’s in an optimal position (i.e., head first during delivery).

What to Avoid When Expecting

pregnant woman standing near the windowThe most recent data for CAM reveals 38 percent of adults have used one form of treatment or another. Not much research is done in pregnancies, and so much of the information may be anecdotal and from limited test subjects. That is why it’s crucial to approach any natural or alternative treatment with caution.

Some forms of herbal medicine, for example, may lead to adverse effects endangering you and your unborn child. The combination of raspberry tea leaves with herbal and supplemental vitamins has been associated with premature closure of fetal artery and neonatal seizures.

Other oral supplements are thought to have contributed to congenital disabilities. But results vary with different women and in various studies. For instance, all trials of ginger showed its superiority in taking care of nausea and vomiting, except for one trial.

Even aromatherapy oils require caution. Only because many have not gone through testing to ensure their safety for pregnant women; they may also have toxicity risk. Some of these aromatherapy oils to avoid are:

  • Basil
  • Mugwort
  • Sage
  • Camphor
  • Aniseed
  • Hyssop
  • Wintergreen

What is clear when it comes to CAM is the necessity of consultation with your primary care provider. Your obstetrician should know what herbal vitamins you’ve decided to take, what natural healing methods you’re trying, and what other complementary medicines you intend to apply.

Your health is paramount to ensure you and your baby thrive during pregnancy. So consult with your doctor and use the right combination of CAM.

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