6 Alternative Therapies for a More Comfortable Pregnancy
Written By Donna Maurer
For many, pregnancy can be a time of joy, excitement, and anticipation. Unfortunately, it also comes with a host of discomforts, from first-trimester nausea to third-trimester backaches (with lots more in between).
As alternative therapies become more popular, many women maintain that they’re highly effective for relieving pregnancy symptoms. So, without further ado, here’s a look at six options that might just result in a more relaxed, healthier pregnancy.
Acupuncture is a fantastic way to address common pregnancy symptoms in a gentle, safe, and drug-free way. If this is something you’re interested in pursuing, spots like The Yinova Center Acupuncture Clinic have you covered. Yinova offers a personalized approach to prenatal acupuncture throughout each stage of pregnancy. During the first trimester, Yinova’s acupuncturists focus on relieving the fatigue, morning sickness, constipation and headaches that can be common at this stage.
Once you enter the second trimester, prenatal acupuncture treatments at the Yinova Center focus on relieving the back and pelvic pain that can become an issue as your baby bump grows. This means it’s a great avenue to explore for pain relief without the risk associated with some conventional medication.
The third trimester of pregnancy is often the most uncomfortable as your baby approaches its birth weight and your ligaments loosen in preparation for childbirth. Experts at Yinova recommend acupuncture at this stage of pregnancy, not only for pain relief but also to help the body prepare for labor by relaxing the pelvic muscles.
Yinova has two brand new locations in Brooklyn and on the East Side (58th Street), so they’re a great option for expectant moms looking for relief anywhere in the New York City area. For those outside of New York, a little bit of research may uncover a similar option near you.
There’s nothing like a good massage for relaxing away tension and soothing aches and pains during any stage of one’s life. According to experts at the Yinova Center, prenatal massage also offers a host of additional benefits for pregnant moms. Their expert prenatal massage therapists are specially trained to adapt each session to the changing needs of moms-to-be throughout the various stages of pregnancy.
Prenatal massage could offer relief for sciatica, lower back, and pelvic pain many women experience as their baby grows. Massage may also relieve the muscle spasms, digestion issues, and swelling that some women experience in the third trimester.
In fact, studies show that receiving prenatal massage regularly throughout your pregnancy could provide benefits during labor and delivery, too! Once your baby is born, massage is a safe and effective way to ease the stress and emotional anxiety that many women experience post-pregnancy.
Soaking in the tub is a great way to relax and soothe tired muscles. Add some bubble bath, scented candles, and soothing music, and you’ve got a spa right in your own bathroom. Although pregnant women should avoid hot tubs and hot baths during pregnancy, hydrotherapy with warm water is considered safe during a healthy pregnancy.
There are other ways to use hydrotherapy during pregnancy, too. If getting in and out of the tub is difficult for you, a warm shower can be just as soothing. Or, try a warm compress on your lower back to ease tense muscles.
During labor and delivery, hydrotherapy may be used to ease the pressure on the spine, help you relax, and it may even ease the pain of contractions.
Meditation and Relaxation Techniques
When practiced consistently over a period of time, visualization, meditation, and other relaxation techniques are very useful for relieving stress and anxiety during pregnancy. In addition to helping you relax, these techniques can be utilized to help you focus during delivery. There are many different relaxation techniques you can try, and it’s easy to find a class, or even an app or video online, to help you get started.
Reflexology is an alternative therapy that involves applying pressure to specific areas on the ears, hands, or feet that are thought to be associated with certain organs of the body. Some women find this technique helpful for relieving nausea, backaches, headaches, fatigue, and digestive issues during pregnancy.
Be aware that reflexology applied to specific areas of the feet may stimulate contractions and bring on labor. That’s great if you’re past your due date and want to get things moving, but not so great if you’re preterm. Make sure you choose a reflexologist who is trained to work with pregnant women to reduce any associated risk.
According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, prenatal yoga is a great way to stay fit and relax during pregnancy. Breathing and gentle stretching are great for reducing stress and anxiety. They may even help you get better sleep and reduce lower back and pelvic pain. Some women also find that prenatal yoga relieves nausea in early pregnancy.
Yoga postures can also be a safe and effective way to build strength and flexibility in the muscles you’ll use during delivery.
Questions to Ask Your Practitioner Before Trying Alternative Therapies
You should always do your own research and consult with your doctor or midwife before trying any alternative therapies. When choosing an alternative practitioner, ask people you trust for recommendations and be sure to check each candidate out thoroughly online. Here are some key questions to ask before deciding a practitioner:
- What are your qualifications and how long have you been practicing this therapy?
- Are you trained to work with pregnant women?
- How does this therapy work and is it safe during pregnancy?
- Are there any side effects or risks associated with the technique?
Will This Work For You? Your Pregnancy, Your Choice
At the end of the day, you know what works best for you and what you’re comfortable trying — but who knows? Perhaps a bit of exploration will help you find a perfect fit. These alternative therapies may just offer a safe, gentle, and effective solution for your symptoms.
Disclaimer: This text was not written by a medical professional, but was instead compiled based on research. It should not substitute for the advice of medical professionals, and any potential participant should absolutely consult a doctor prior to starting any kind of alternative treatment plan.
Tags: Acupuncture, alternative therapy, health, hydrotherapy, massage, pregnancy, pregnant, reflexology, wellness