If you are planning on having as natural a pregnancy and birth as possible, then you may like to consider a complementary therapy to help you stay relaxed, healthy and physically fit and comfortable. To help you understand a bit more about the therapies on offer, here is my mini guide to what each one is and how it can help
What it is: Acupuncture has been around for over five thousand years and is based on the belief that an internal force of energy runs through our body. It brings relief of pain which may be unresponsive to conventional therapy or painkillers and brings with it a feeling of relaxation after the therapy.
Use in pregnancy: It can help treat numerous problems during pregnancy such as early morning sickness, lethargy and back pain.
Use in labour: Can also help to ease labour pain and is also safe to use when breast-feeding to increase milk supply
#2 complementary therapy – Aromatherapy:
What it is: Aromatherapy is a natural treatment using the oils of plants to improve and maintain well-being. The action of aromatherapy on the state of mind depends upon the link between smell and memory.
Use in pregnancy: Can be used to help with insomnia, early morning sickness, cramps and headaches.
Use in labour: An aromatherapy massage during labour can reduce pain, stress and anxiety.
It is important to avoid: fennel, peppermint and rosemary oils in the first trimester
#3 complementary therapy – Homeopathy:
What it is: Homeopathy works on the basis of ‘like cures like’ with the remedies stimulating the body’s own healing power.
Use in pregnancy: Can help with food cravings, feeling sore from the baby kicking and a low mood.
Use in labour: Very useful during the birth for pain relief.
#4 complementary therapy – Hypnotherapy:
What it is: Hypnosis is a pleasant state of mental relaxation. It is a time when your conscience takes a step back and your subconscious come more to the forefront. It is a natural state with no side effects which anyone can learn to enter.
Use in pregnancy: Can help you to manage early morning sickness as well as reducing general pain.
Use in Labour: Hypnosis helps you to become more and more confident and trusting in your body and as a result you are able to remain calm and relaxed during labour, reducing pain.
#5 complementary therapy – osteopathic/Chiropractic:
What it is: Osteopaths and chiropractors believe that any disturbance of the musculoskeletal system will not only cause local pain, but also interfere with the body’s other main components.
Use in pregnancy/Labour: misalignment of the spine caused by pregnancy can press on nerves and in turn cause not only back pain but pain that can affect the whole body. Treatment aims to re-align the body’s structure.
Cranial osteopathy can also help with post natal depression and with your child after they have been born.
#6 complementary therapy – Reflexology:
What it is: Reflexology aims to treat the whole body through the feet. Massaging the feet can help to clear up a problem by breaking down the waste matter and allowing the body’s internal energy to circulate freely.
Use in pregnancy: Can help with early morning sickness, constipation and migraines.
Use in labour: Can help with relaxation and therefore pain relief.
#7 complementary therapy – Yoga:
What it is: Yoga is a therapy recognised in helping stress, improving joint and muscle suppleness and generally improving overall health.
Use in pregnancy: The gentle moving therapy works well in pregnancy especially for problems with back ache and posture.
Use in labour: Yoga can also increase the suppleness in your pelvic floor muscles which may make your labour easier, and help these muscles recover quickly after birth.
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All the best