General Article Are complementary therapies safe during pregnancy?

Topic Selected: Alternative Medicine

In general, you should avoid taking any unnecessary medicines or treatments when you’re pregnant. There are very few high-quality studies into the effectiveness of complementary or ‘alternative’ treatments, and anything you take into your body can affect your unborn baby.

What are complementary therapies?

Complementary medicines and treatments include a wide range of treatments that are not usually used by most doctors in the UK. These treatments are sometimes described as alternative medicine. However, ‘complementary’ is a better description, as they should be used alongside, but never replace, the treatment offered by your doctor.

Few complementary or alternative medicines are known to be safe during pregnancy. And some herbal remedies, such as blue cohosh, can actually be harmful for the baby.

But there is some evidence to support the use of:

  • massage and aromatherapy for treating anxiety
  • acupressure

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