Boost your wellbeing with alternative pregnancy therapies

Alternative therapies are a great way to complement traditional healthcare, relieve pregnancy discomfort, and support your perinatal wellbeing. It is sometimes also a good way to take time for yourself!

Our list is not exhaustive but contains a few of the most popular therapies which could be useful, such as pregnancy acupuncture. As with any alternative treatment, it’s always advised to check with your doctor first. 

Learn more about alternative pregnancy therapies

1. How can acupuncture help my during my pregnancy?
2. What is shiatsu, and what might a pregnancy shiatsu session include?
3. What is sophrology, and how do I practise it?
4. Aromatherapy: benefits of essential oils throughout pregnancy
5. What is homeopathy, and is it safe during pregnancy?
6. Is naturopathy the same as homeopathy?
7. Other pregnancy therapies

1. How can acupuncture help me during my pregnancy?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese healing practice. It uses fine needles to stimulate specific points on the body and release pain-relieving endorphins. Many women find acupuncture an effective way of relieving tension and aches during pregnancy.

As well as easing physical conditions such as back pain, migraines, and hypertension, pregnancy acupuncture can support your mental wellbeing. During a pregnancy acupuncture session, needles trigger inflammatory, immune, and nervous responses that may relieve depression, insomnia, and fatigue.

The frequency of your pregnancy acupuncture treatments is a matter of personal choice and may vary in each trimester. Pregnancy acupuncture practitioners may recommend weekly sessions early on if you’re experiencing issues such as morning sickness, then every 2-4 weeks in later trimesters.

It’s important to let your pregnancy acupuncture therapist know you are pregnant. Some acupuncture points — such as on the lower abdomen — should be avoided during pregnancy. You may experience redness or mild pain from the needles. However, as long as you see a qualified, experienced practitioner, pregnancy acupuncture can be very beneficial.

2. What is shiatsu, and what might a pregnancy shiatsu session involve?

Shiatsu is a full body treatment originating from Japan. It involves using the hands to massage certain pressure points on the body and can relieve pregnancy discomfort. Pregnancy shiatsu may ease lower back pain, nausea, headaches, and other physical symptoms. However, it can also soothe the mind, reducing anxiety and stress. As well as benefiting you throughout the earlier stages of your pregnancy, you may find that pregnancy shiatsu helps naturally induce labour and relieve pains.

In addition to hands-on massage, a pregnancy shiatsu session might include:

  • Breathing and relaxation techniques 
  • Gentle stretches
  • Joint rotations
  • Posture awareness
  • Rocking and muscle release along your body’s meridians (energy lines) 

Alongside pregnancy shiatsu, there are several other perinatal massage types you may find beneficial. Please find more information on our perinatal massage page

3. What is sophrology, and how do I practise it?

Sophrology combines Western science and Eastern wisdom to cultivate mindfulness, manage stress, and improve sleep through a routine of physical and mental exercises. Some women find sophrology especially helpful for easing uncomfortable symptoms during pregnancy and childbirth. Sophrology enhances your coping mechanisms so you can manage pain and stress more effectively.

Although you can practise sophrology techniques such as hypnosis, visualization, and gentle movement yourself, you may find it advantageous to see a sophrologist. They can assess your needs and come up with a personalised, practical daily strategy.

4. Aromatherapy: benefits of essential oils throughout pregnancy

Aromatherapy uses natural essential oils to promote health and wellbeing. Many essential oils are not suitable for use during pregnancy, so it’s good to have a chat with a qualified aromatherapist who can guide you on safe oils and dosages. Throughout pregnancy, aromatherapy can help treat nausea, headaches, and swelling and also calm anxiety. Lavender, rose, peppermint and chamomile are amongst the best essential oils to use throughout pregnancy. 

As well as having a positive impact on your physical and mental wellbeing, essential oils smell lovely! Most medical experts agree that using a diffuser for aromatherapy during pregnancy is safer than applying oils to the skin.

5. What is homeopathy, and is it safe during pregnancy?

Homeopathy is a type of holistic medicine that uses pills or liquid solutions that contain tiny amounts of an active plant or mineral ingredient. Homeopathy is not a replacement for medical treatment. However, many people find that homeopathic remedies help relieve nausea and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. Seeing a qualified homeopath will ensure the remedies you are using are safe for both you and your baby.

Alongside easing pregnancy ailments, some people find homeopathic remedies to be supportive during childbirth. If you would like to include homeopathy in your labour, it’s best to let your midwife know your plan. 

As well as supporting you throughout pregnancy, a homeopath may continue offering guidance after childbirth. If you’d like to find out more about healing after birth, check out our postpartum recovery page.

6. Is naturopathy the same as homeopathy?

Naturopathy focuses on the healing power of nature to identify and treat the cause of symptoms in a holistic way. It encompasses a range of treatments which may include homeopathic remedies. However, a naturopathic practitioner may also offer herbal medicines, natural supplements, nutritional and lifestyle advice, hydrotherapy, and counselling. 

As with homeopathy, seeing a naturopath can help with early pregnancy symptoms and ensure that the natural remedies and treatments you are taking are safe.

7. Other pregnancy therapies

Alongside pregnancy acupuncture, aromatherapy, and the other treatments listed here, there are a host of other techniques you might find beneficial. Everybody is different, and you may find some treatments work better for you than others. You might like to try out various therapies to discover which ones bring you the most balance and relief. Before undergoing any alternative treatments, it’s best to check with your doctor or midwife to ensure they are suitable for you. 

Other options to explore include:

  • Meditation
  • Self-hypnosis
  • Lamaze (patterned breathing)
  • Ayurveda

Browse through our network of alternative pregnancy therapists and book a consultation now! 

Want to get in touch or book an appointment now? Browse through our network of alternative pregancy therapists and book a consultation! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our team at hello@parentally.nl. We are here to help! 

Looking for other types of support? Discover our pregnancy nutritionists or browse through our selected list of hypnobirthing educators.


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