Pregnancy and Childbirth

pregnancy_webThe birth of a child is truly a beginning, not only of a new being entering this world, but also of adults becoming or deepening their role as parents. Becoming a parent is perhaps the most profound transformation in the adult life cycle; it can be one of the most important, joyous and stressful jobs on the planet, that of nurturing and caring for the next generation. This is an important time to prioritize self-care, throughout the entire conception, pregnancy, and post-partum processes.

Just as each woman is unique, each pregnancy and each delivery is also unique. Integrative medicine offers a host of options for expecting parents: from acupuncture and massage therapy to help ease the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy, to mindfulness courses specifically created for expecting parents, such as our Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting and The Mind in Labor: Working with Pain in Childbirth.

Nancy Bardacke speaks on
“Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting: An Introduction”
at Greater Good Science Center’s Practicing Mindfulness and Compassion Conference


Please visit our Appointments page to schedule a visit with one of our Integrative Women’s Health specialists.



What the research shows about Integrative Medicine for pregnancy and childbirth:


Guided Imagery

  • The biobehavioral effects of relaxation guided imagery on maternal stress
    Findings support the feasibility and effectiveness of an R-GI [relaxation-guided imagery] intervention in reducing anxiety and daily stress levels in pregnant African American women beginning in the second trimester. The pilot study is an important first step in evaluating the effectiveness of R-GI as a primary prevention intervention to reduce preterm birth.


Massage Therapy



  • Omega-3 fatty acids and ginger in maternal health: pharmacology, efficacy, and safety
    Omega-3 fatty acids benefit gestation, infant vision, and neurodevelopment, while effects on major depression in pregnancy and postpartum depression are less clear. Ginger is efficacious for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy but is limited in its safety data. Pharmacologic properties of each supplement and pathophysiology related to each indication are reviewed. It is recommended that pregnant and lactating women be advised to take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement daily, while the recommendation to use ginger is tentative and will likely be based on each practitioner’s comfort level with the safety data that are presented.

Tai Chi / Qi Gong


Print Friendly, PDF & Email