Filling the gaps in contemporary maternity care: The perceptions of complementary medicine practitioners providing care to women during pregnancy

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 2019, 34 pp. 174 - 178
Issue Date:
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Background and purpose: As many as one in two women consult with a complementary medicine (CM) practitioner for pregnancy-related health care, yet little is known about the reason for such a high rate of use. This paper presents the perceptions of CM practitioners regarding the role they play within the existing maternity care system. Materials and methods: Semi-structured interviews with 23 CM practitioners were conducted and the transcripts analysed, using a Framework approach. Results: Key themes pertaining to the perceived role of CM practitioners in maternity care emerged. (1) Becoming a maternity care provider: responding to a need and filling gaps in the system; (2) Characterising CM maternity care: Holistic, nurturing and addressing unmet health concerns and; (3) Treating health complaints neglected by conventional maternity care. Conclusion: CM practitioners often acknowledge their specialist roles as part of a multidisciplinary team of practitioners rather than attempting to offer comprehensive pregnancy care.
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