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Pract Midwife. 2016 May;19(5):12, 14-5.

Aromatherapy in midwifery practice.


Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that uses essential oils of plants to achieve therapeutic effects. Midwives can offer complementary therapies to women if they have been trained in their use and follow the required professional frameworks for regulation, permissions, monitoring and insurance. This article explores the use of aromatherapy to ease a common condition of pregnancy: that of lower back pain. This may be due to the lordosis of pregnancy, caused by the hormone relaxin--which increases in pregnancy and causes greater flexibility of joints and connective tissue--and by changes in body mass and centre of gravity; but it could also be caused by something else, such as strain or repeated movement. Any midwife offering aromatherapy should ensure that all other potential conditions and contraindications have been considered before commencing treatment, and would carry out a full assessment including taking adetailed history.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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