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Parent Source recently spoke to local Naturopath, Dr. Lisa Doran, to discuss the role of naturopathy in pregnancy and childbirth. Dr. Doran provides fertility, pregnancy, birth and post-partum care to women across Durham Region and the GTA.

Naturopathy is a form of primary health care that uses gentle and non-invasive therapies. Naturopaths work in partnership with a woman’s family doctor, midwife, and/or her obstetrician to provide adjunct care that includes nutritional and healthy lifestyle counselling and a program of detoxification to prepare her body for pregnancy and childbirth. Naturopaths work proactively to ensure a healthy pregnancy, labour and birth. 


According to Naturopath, Dr. Lisa Doran (The Barefoot Doctor), women seek naturopathic care for a variety of reasons when planning a pregnancy or preparing for childbirth. Where some women seek naturopathic care to assist with fertility issues, others, who are planning a pregnancy or who are already pregnant, are looking to talk about their choices regarding their birth plan and how to prepare their bodies for labour.


“When women enter my care at the very beginning of the pregnancy” says Dr. Doran, “I adjust their vitamins, make sure they aren’t taking anything that could be harmful, and ensure that they are taking what they should. I encourage them to get involved in gentle exercise such as yoga or walking and spend a significant amount of time discussing birth plans and birth teams, because having a good birth team that you trust and feel comfortable with is essential to any successful labour and birth.”


While naturopaths in Ontario do not have a role in the actual birth, they can attend as a supporter during labour, since many are also trained doulas. Naturopaths are also called in when labour is stalled and are often paged by local midwives to assist using acupuncture and/or homeopathic remedies. Women also often seek naturopathic care to assist with a dramatically overdue pregnancy, stalled labour, the treatment of Group B Strep, and to treat pregnancy induced hypertension.


Women have a lot of options and choices available to them during pregnancy and childbirth, but often don’t know what they are. Naturopaths, like Dr. Doran, specialize in helping women discover their options, and make choices that are right for them and their babies.

For more information on Naturopathic medicine, visit the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors.

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