By Gretchen Rubin
I'm a real gold-star junkie. One of my worst qualities is my insatiable need for credit; I always want the recognition, the praise, that gold star stuck on my homework. Recently, I was grumbling to my mother about the fact that some extraordinarily praiseworthy effort on my part had gone unremarked upon. My mother wisely responded, "Most people probably don't get the appreciation they deserve." That's right, I realized — for instance, my mother herself! I certainly don't give her...
Turning a breech baby:Exercise and hypnosis have proven beneficial. Trials are underway to investigate moxibustion, a traditional Chinese treatment that burns an herb close to the skin and is stated to be beneficial in turning a breech baby.
Labor induction:Evening primrose oil, black haw, and red raspberry leaves seem to work for cervical ripening. The risks and benefits of these agents are still unknown, because the evidence is based on anecdotal case reports and are therefore not recommended. Conventional methods are more reliable for these purposes.
Pain relief in labor: Epidurals are most effective, but other methods like immersion in a warm bath and acupuncture can be effective. A high-tech nerve stimulator called TENS may also be effective if used in conjunction with other pain control treatments. Relaxation techniques, patterned breathing, emotional support, and self-hypnosis are already widely used alternative therapies in labor.
Unsafe Alternative Therapies During Pregnancy
Some alternative treatments are not recommended during pregnancy. The following substances have the potential to harm a developing baby when used in a concentrated formulation (not as a spice in cooking). Some are thought to cause birth defects, and some to encourage early labor.