This review covers research from the last 5 years on the most popular complementary and alternative therapies used during pregnancy and labor and potential underlying biological bases for their effects. MEDLINE was searched and papers were reviewed for the most popular complementary and alternative therapies used during pregnancy and labor, including massage therapy, acupuncture, relaxation, yoga, and exercise. The pregnancy research generally suggests that alternative therapies have been effective for reducing pregnancy-related back and leg pain and nausea and for reducing depression and cortisol levels and the associated prematurity rate. The labor research generally shows that alternative therapies reduce pain and thereby the need for medication. Although the literature suggests positive effects of alternative therapies for pregnancy and labor and some potential biological mechanisms, the research has several methodological limitations.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Alternative therapies in health and medicine|
|State||Published - 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine