mother's little helpers | Fit Pregnancy

mother's little helpers

The gentle, gradual effects of natural remedies can be perfect during pregnancy. Here’s what’s safe and what’s not.

Safety issues Chiropractic is best for musculoskeletal issues; use other therapies for ailments such as nausea, etc. Your chiropractor should use a table that adjusts to your pregnant body and techniques that avoid abdominal pressure. Call ahead to make sure these options are available.

How to find a practitioner Choose a licensed doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) with extensive experience treating pregnant women. The American Chiropractic Association, 800-986-4636, www.acatoday.com.



Herbal remedies

What it is Use of fresh or dried plant materials.

What it’s good for For nausea: ginger, peppermint. For colds and flu: echinacea. For calming: chamomile.

Safety issues Research on other herbs is lacking. Particularly avoid goldenseal and blue or black cohosh, which affect the uterus.

How to find a practitioner Choose a professional herbalist with an A.H.G. credential from the American Herbalists Guild, or another health practitioner knowledgeable about herbal medicine, such as a naturopath. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, 866-538-2267, www.naturopathic.org. The American Herbalists Guild, 770-751-6021, www.americanherbalistsguild.com.



Homeotherapy

What it is A natural system of medicine based on the “law of similars”: a substance that in large amounts could cause symptoms can heal you when given in minute homeopathic doses.

What it’s good for For nausea: sepia, pulsatilla. For hemorrhoids: hamamelis. For varicose veins: sepia.

Safety issues Homeopathic remedies are given in such diluted concentrations that side effects are rare, though occasionally symptoms may surface during treatment.

How to find a practitioner There’s no licensing for homeopaths, so look for a medical doctor (M.D.), naturopathic physician (N.D.) or osteopath (D.O.) who has studied homeopathy. The National Center for Homeopathy, 877-624-0613, www.homeopathic.org.



Massage


What it is Similar to a typical Swedish-style massage.

What it’s good for Back and leg pain and labor preparation. Massage also reduces stress, which lowers cortisol levels; this may reduce the risk of prematurity.

Safety issues It should be done when you’re lying on your side. Massaging the ankles can stimulate premature contractions.

How to find a practitioner Choose a therapist with national certification and advanced training in prenatal massage. Licensing is done on a state-by-state basis, though not all states offer licensing. The American Massage Therapy Association, 877-905-2700, www.amtamassage.org.

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