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complementary therapies for pregnancy and birth

It is now estimated that the majority of women turn to some form of complementary therapy during pregnancy or for birth.  Whether it be; Peppermint or acupuncture for pregnancy nausea and sickness, massage for back pain and discomfort, remedies to help with sleep, raspberry leaf tea to help tone the uterus or reflexology to bring on the birth....the list goes on an on and is vast!!  But just because they are natural are they safe?  And are they safe and appropriate for every woman regardless of their medical or pregnancy history?  The majority of drugs are derived from plants the same as many of these remedies are! 

 

The properties and effects of complementary therapies are not to be underestimated.  There is a variable amount of research and evidence on the different therapies that may be beneficial for pregnancy and birth and I have in depth knowledge of this.  Alongside my comprehensive knowledge of pregnancy and pregnancy conditions I am excited to be able to share with you some safe techniques and remedies that will hopefully make you more comfortable in your last weeks of pregnancy and through your birth.  

In particular my expertise is in the use of aromatherapy in pregnancy and labour.  I did my Masters research on the use of aromatherapy in labour and found that in a sample of 1079 women who used aromatherapy during their labour compared with the same number of women who didn't, the women who used aromatherapy:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Were significantly less likely to need an epidural, spinal or general anaesthetic

  • Had a higher chance of having a normal, unassisted vaginal delivery

  • Less likely to have an emergency caesarean section

  • Babies of mothers who had aromatherapy in their labour were born in better condition (measured by Apgar score)

  • A better birth experience was reported

Aromatherapy in labour can be used to help with many things, such as; the discomfort of contractions, reducing anxiety which in turn can speed up labour,  nausea and sickness, headaches,  reducing blood pressure and sore stitches amongst many other things which I will teach you about. 

If you would like to read more about my work and research on aromatherapy and birth my publications in this area are:  

 

Dhany, A., Mitchell, T. and Foy, C. (2012) Aromatherapy and massage service impact upon use of analgesia in women in labour; A retrospective case note analysis.  Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 18 (10), pp932-938.

 

Dhany, A.L. (2008) Essential Oils and Massage in Intrapartum Care.  Practising Midwife, 11 (2). 

Or I can lend you a very hefty copy of my dissertation!!