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Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006 Feb;12(1):48-54. Epub 2005 Oct 6.

Aromatherapy and massage for antenatal anxiety: its effect on the fetus.

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Kent Women's Wing, Queen Mary's Hospital NHS Trust, Frognal Lane, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 6LT, UK.


Antenatal anxiety has been linked to maternal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis changes which can affect fetal development and may have lasting effects on the child's psychological development. Treatments for anxiety have hitherto focused on psychotherapy techniques or antidepressant drugs but these do not always effect long term improvement. Aromatherapy and massage have successfully been used to produce significantly greater improvement in reduction of anxiety. Midwives may highlight anxiety in some of the mothers in their care and can incorporate the holistic approach of aromatherapy and massage into their practice. However, further research is required to establish the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of aromatherapy and massage in the antenatal period.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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