ALCOHOL, SMOKING, CAFFEINE AND CANNABIS
ESSENTIAL VITAMINS AND MINERALS
WHAT TO EAT IN PREGNANCY
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Many complementary therapies can be useful during pregnancy, although you should always tell your practitioner that you are pregnant. Practitioners of complementary medicine take a holistic view of treatment, getting to know all aspects of the person involved.
Reflexology is a type of foot massage. It should be carried out with great care during the first trimester of pregnancy. Reflexology can be wonderfully therapeutic, giving you more energy. It is even recommended by some midwives as a method of inducing the labour, once you have passed your due date.
Massage is great for relieving stress and promoting relaxation. It produces endorphins - the body's natural 'feel-good' hormones. It also keeps you physically close to your partner when you don't feel up to having sex. Massage is also great for your baby. Use a simple massage oil, which is available from any pharmacy. Nut and wheat germ oils should be avoided. Make sure you return the favour to your partner so they appreciate the benefit!
Aromatherapy oils used for massage, in the bath or in a vaporiser, can help with conditions such as anxiety, constipation, cystitis, haemorrhoids, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and swollen ankles. Don't buy over-the-counter oils unless they are guaranteed for use in the early stages of pregnancy as some are unsafe. It's best to see a qualified aromatherapist who can prescribe a blend of oils for you.
The burning of moxa herbs at a certain acupuncture point on the body has been shown to successfully turn breech babies.
The Institute for Complementary Medicine keeps a database of qualified practitioners on its website.
Acupuncture uses very fine needles to stimulate the 'qi' or energy channels of the body where ailments may cause an imbalance. It is important to make sure that the needles used are disposable. It can be useful for sickness and vomiting, carpal tunnel syndrome, varicose veins, constipation, headaches, haemorrhoids and much more.
Both treatments can treat a multitude of pregnancy-related ailments. It is essential to see a qualified practitioner.
This is the Japanese word for 'finger pressure' and is suitable for all stages of pregnancy. Shiatsu is good for constipation, leg cramps, haemorrhoids, nausea and vomiting, frequent urination, tiredness and swollen ankles.