Alternative Therapies for Pregnancy
There are so many amazing alternative therapies out there for pregnancy and particularly worth checking out if you have made the (excellent!) decision to Hypnobirth. I am not an expert in these therapies, just a fan, so here is the Fangirls Guide to Alternative Therapies in Pregnancy.
Reflexology can help balance hormones so is an excellent treatment throughout pregnancy. It can help ease morning sickness, back pain, pelvic girdle pain, improve energy levels and (big bonus for Hypnomamas) induce deep relaxation. It is a very soothing and gentle practice and so, as with many therapies, it also promotes emotional wellbeing.
Reflexology works by stimulating points on the foot that correspond with different organs and systems in the body via energy channels. The massaging of these points helps to improve the function and wellbeing of these systems.
Aromatherapy uses the essential oils of various plants in massage, baths, foot baths, diffusers and inhalation. Many women decide to use aromatherapy at home, but I suggest speaking to your midwife and/or a professional aromatherapist before doing so. If you do decide to dabble at home then Lavender, Peppermint, Rose and Frankincense can be used throughout Pregnancy and Labour. Camomile should only be used in the last 3 months and Clary Sage and Jasmine only during labour. Follow the instructions on the bottle of the oil you are using.
A pregnancy massage can help with tiredness and anxiety. Most spas/practitioners offer a pregnancy massage carried out on a specially adapted chair or bed so that you don’t put any pressure on your bump. Specialist pregnancy massages and treatments are only recommended after 12 weeks. Avoid any practitioner that doesn’t follow this guideline.
Hypnobirthing is often listed as an alternative therapy or form of natural pain relief. This is not entirely the case. It works on the idea that pain doesn't need to be there in the first place, and so isn't to be used simply in labour at the last minute. Hypnobirthing is a full antenatal course and so should be practised regularly well before labour begins.
Finally, be sure to find a practitioner who specialises in Pregnancy to get the safest and most comfortable treatment. Happy relaxing!
Practioners local to The Happy Birth Guide:
Photograph by Ryn Frank (from Pinterest)