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Ask Dr Miriam.

Byline: DR MIRIAM STOPPARD Helping to keep you fit and healthy

Q At my latest antenatal visit, I was offered complementary therapy during labour. Do you think it's any good?

A I certainly think it's worth a try.

I've just read an article in the September edition of The Practising Midwife that looked at the effect of aromatherapy in lessening the need for induction of labour - something all midwives, doctors and mums-to-be would prefer to avoid.

It turns out that aromatherapy, at least as practised by the midwives at West Middlesex University Hospital, can help to start off labour spontaneously, thereby avoiding the need for induction.

In a study there, mums who were all three or four days past their estimated due date were offered aromatherapy and reflexology.

The research was carried out between 2009 and 2013 and in that time two-thirds of women went into spontaneous labour as the result of complementary therapy.

Anything that can help avoid the need for medical intervention and induction gets my vote. So, yes, I think you should try your midwife's suggestion.
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion, Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 18, 2013
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