Important considerations of the use of complementary and alternative medicine through pregnancy, labour and birth: An update based on recent Australian research

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Journal Article
Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine, 2016, 28 (2), pp. 36 - 40
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© NHAA 2016. The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in pregnancy has recently attracted substantial interest from researchers in Australia. As a result, there has been advancement in our understanding of the nature and drivers of CAM use by Australian pregnant women, as well as a number of novel findings identified which provide a platform for future enquiry. This paper overviews a number of these recent Australian studies and highlights some important considerations and implications of the findings for practitioners, women and policymakers alike. The areas discussed include the impact of CAM use during pregnancy on adverse birth events at a population level, the impact of the model of maternity care upon CAM use during labour and birth, and the need for additional information regarding the safety and effectiveness of CAM use during pregnancy to better inform women’s decision-making.
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