Alternative Therapies Might Smooth Your Journey
When there’s a baby on the way, you have two big priorities—eating a healthy diet and getting regular prenatal care. But you don’t have to stop there. Many women add an alternative approach, such as yoga or massage, to their pregnancy toolkits. These and other complementary practices can be both safe and helpful, and might be just the thing to keep you feeling fit, comfortable and confident until the big day.
RELAX WITH HELP FROM YOGA
Yoga can help you stay flexible, strong and relaxed during your pregnancy. It may lessen back and leg pain and help you sleep better, too. Some research has found that women who do yoga during pregnancy have less stress, anxiety and depression.
Tip: Choose a prenatal yoga class, which is designed to be comfortable and safe for you and your baby. Because it’s done in a very hot room, Bikram, or “hot,” yoga may be unsafe for pregnant women. Ask your doctor before you start.
RELIEVE PAIN WITH OSTEOPATHIC THERAPIES
Few women get through pregnancy without an aching back—or aching knees, pelvis and hips, for that matter. Studies show that hands-on therapies like chiropractic and osteopathic treatments may reduce pain and help you function better, especially during the second and third trimesters.
Tip: You may get the most benefit by combining chiropractic or osteopathic treatment with exercises recommended by your practitioner.
REDUCE TENSION THROUGH MASSAGE THERAPY
For tense, sore muscles, nothing beats a session with a massage therapist. Massage can soothe and relax lower back and leg pain. Reflexology involves applying pressure to specific places on the body. A reflexology foot massage is another great way to relax.
Tip: Don’t overlook massage at home. Most childbirth education classes teach women and their partners how to do basic prenatal massage.
Before trying an alternative therapy or approach, check with your physician or midwife to make sure it is safe for you. If you experience muscle weakness, pain, cramps, dizziness or other unusual symptoms, stop and contact your doctor.
At Lutheran, we understand everyone’s pregnancy and birth experience is different. We help you with a plan specifically designed for you. From yoga for expecting moms to a nitrous oxide option for pain relief during labor and in-room massage, we work with you to make your birth plan a reality. Click here for more information.