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Taking Medicine During Pregnancy

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What Alternative Therapies Are Considered Safe During Pregnancy? continued...

Nausea in early pregnancy: Acupuncture, acupressure, ginger root (250 milligram capsules 4 times a day), and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, 25 milligrams two or three times a day) work well. Sipping the thick syrup from inside a can of peaches, pears, mixed fruits, pineapples, or orange slices may also help.

Backache: Chiropractic manipulation holds the best track record. Another option is massage but it is important to make sure your massage therapist is adequately trained in pre-natal massage.

Turning a breech baby: Exercise and hypnosis may help.

Pain relief in labor: Epidurals are most effective, but immersion in a warm bath can also relieve tension. Relaxation and breathing techniques, emotional support, and self-hypnosis are widely used in labor. Acupuncture can also work for some women.

What Alternative Therapies Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?

The following substances in concentrated formulation (not as a spice in cooking) may harm your baby. Some are thought to cause birth defects and encourage early labor.

Avoid these oral supplements: Arbor vitae, beth root, black cohosh, blue cohosh, cascara, chaste tree berry, Chinese angelica (dong quai), cinchona, cotton root bark, feverfew, ginseng, golden seal, juniper, kava kava, licorice, meadow saffron, pennyroyal, poke root, rue, sage, St. John's wort, senna, slippery root, tansy, white peony, wormwood, yarrow, yellow dock, and vitamin A (large doses can cause birth defects).

Avoid these aromatherapy essential oils: Calamus, mugwort, pennyroyal, sage, wintergreen, basil, hyssop, myrrh, marjoram, and thyme.

When in doubt about any medication, supplement, or therapy, ask your health care provider before taking or using it.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD, FACOG on August 04, 2014
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