Alternative and Complementary Medicine for use During Pregnancy by Dr. Randy Martin

These days, it’s not uncommon for many of us to want to explore our options in life.  Not only in life, but also in our healthcare.  And what better time to do just that then in choosing the best for yourself, your family, and your newest addition to your family – your new baby. 

Many of us are increasingly becoming aware that the way we treat our body during pregnancy can have a pretty large influence on the health of your baby.  And that is where Alternative and Complementary Medicine comes in. 

Most Medical Doctor’s generally agree that it’s not a great idea to fill yourself up with drugs during the pregnancy period.  And that is why many Medical Doctors are beginning to recommend Alternative or Complementary Medicine.   It is now common for Medical Doctors to refer to me their female pregnant patients.

Q:  So What is Alternative or Complementary Medicine Anyway? 

A:  So-called Alternative or Complementary Medicine refers to any type of medical treatment that is not traditional.  This might include Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Homeopathy, Massage, Chiropractic, or Psychotherapy.  There are other forms of alternative therapies as well.

Q:  How would I decide if I need an alternative type of treatment?

A:  During pregnancy, it’s always preferable not to use drugs.  So most problems that occur during pregnancy offer you an opportunity to explore alternative methods.  Common problems treated during pregnancy using alternative methods include tension headaches, migraines, constipation, varicosity, lower back pain, nausea, vomiting, digestive problems, moodiness and depression or anxiety.

Q:  How do I know which type of treatment is best for me?

A:  You have a wide variety of options when it comes to alternative or complementary medicine during pregnancy.  The most common is acupuncture.  Acupuncture is perfectly safe to use during pregnancy.  There are certain specific points that should not be used during pregnancy, but other acupuncture points are fine to use.   Additionally, there are specific acupuncture points that are generally used during the first and second trimester that are said to eradicate bad genetic traits so they won’t be passed down to your baby.

Homeopathy offers yet another option during pregnancy.  Very safe, homeopathy is very effective at eliminating headaches, back pain, and emotional issues such as depression and anxiety.

Chinese and Western herbs may also be used.  But it’s important to avoid certain herbs that are known to weaken the pregnancy.  It’s best to always consult a holistic health professional and not to use herbs on your own during pregnancy.

Q:  Is Homeopathy and Acupuncture safe for use during pregnancy?

A:  Actually, homeopathy and acupuncture are some of the only safe treatments to use during pregnancy.  Make sure someone who has experience treating pregnant women is treating you.

Q:  What could I expect if I were to try Acupuncture or Homeopathy?

A:  Generally, you can expect to receive one or two acupuncture treatments per week for two or three weeks.  This should be long enough to know if it’s effective.  If your symptoms return, you will probably want to resume treatments immediately.

Homeopathic treatments are very simple.  You will be given one or two small white pellets to place under your tongue once or twice per day.  Some homeopathic remedies are only taken once, and once only.  If your problem is recent, and you have no history of this problem, expect results rather quickly, within a few days.  The homeopathic remedy can be changed if you do not get the desired result.

Q:  Should I tell my Medical doctor that I intend on trying some alternative methods during my pregnancy? 

A:  YES!!!!  Never start on a regimen of acupuncture, herbs or homeopathy without your Medical Doctors knowledge.  The teamwork approach is the best, with all your health providers having full knowledge of what healing methods you will be using.  This way, the results can be evaluated more quickly and effectively.  I have a few Medical Doctors who refer their patients to me for treatment during pregnancy because they have seen the quick results and they know it is safe.

Some of the common types of treatments are the use of herbal ginger for morning sickness.  Also, the use of homeopathic Ipecac is very effective for stopping morning sickness or vomiting due to pregnancy.

For turning the fetus, we use an acupuncture point called UB 67.  This can be used with needles, or heat treatment, called Moxa, or acupressure massage. 

If the labor fails to begin, we can use various homeopathic remedies to bring it on.  One of the remedies I’ve had a lot of success with includes homeopathic Pulsatilla.  I also sometimes use homeopathic tincture of Pulsatilla. 

To tonify the fetus and make for a healthier baby, many homeopaths will use a remedy called Calc phos. Caulophyllum homeopathic is sometimes used by homeopaths during the last trimester to help ready the pelvic muscles, ligaments and tendons so that the birth process will be easier for mother and baby.

As with all alternative methods, it’s always best for the specific treatments chosen to be based on the individual being treated and their specific symptoms.  In other words, not all women with migraine headaches should be given the same treatment.  Each person should be treated as an individual.  This is the sign of the good doctor or practitioner.  Choose your doctor based on a referral list if at all possible. Also do some research, and ask a lot of questions.  Finally, use your gut feelings to determine if this is the right doctor for you and your particular issue.   The doctor may have come with a great recommendation, but if he or she doesn’t feel right to you, then find another.

Alternative Treatments for Pregnant Women