Therapies during pregnancy

In general, you should avoid taking any unnecessary medicines, supplements or treatments when you’re pregnant.

Complementary therapies include a wide range of treatments not usually provided by most UK doctors and, as the name implies, they should be used alongside but never replace the treatment offered by your doctor.

Few complementary therapies are known to be safe during pregnancy, but according to NHS Choices there is some evidence to support to support the use of:

  • Acupuncture for back and pelvic pain
  • Hypnotherapy for pain control during childbirth
  • Information about osteopathy during pregnancy

Get medical advice

If you’re considering a complementary therapy, it’s important to tell your GP or midwife first.

If you then decide to use a complementary therapy, always consult a qualified practitioner.

Appropriate therapies at GNHC

Essential oils information

You may have aromatherapy products acquired before pregnancy or subsequently be given them as gifts.

Essential oils best AVOIDED until after the birth are:


There is a lot of confusion over the safety of lavender essential oil during pregnancy. It is therefore advisable not to use it before the 36th week of pregnancy.

The above list is not definitive, so we recommend you talk to your doctor or midwife before using essential oils.

Diet during pregnancy

The NHS Choices web site has excellent dietary advice for pregnant women:

A healthy diet in pregnancy

Foods to avoid in pregnancy

Vitamins and nutrition in pregnancy