Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is becoming increasingly popular among pregnant women and research shows that healthcare professionals need more education and guidance on these therapies.
In a review of 19 studies on the subject of holistic maternity care involving 3,000 professionals from around the world, researchers found that while the use of CAM is widespread, many traditional doctors and nurses require evidence-based training on the treatments.
"There is no doubt that the popularity of CAM — including acupuncture, chiropractic, naturopathy, herbal medicine and yoga — has grown in recent years" says lead author Jon Adams, M.D.
While midwives often have philosophies that align with those behind holistic treatments, many traditional doctors and nurses are not well-educated on the practices, and therefore offer and recommend less variety in CAM therapies.
Researchers found that obstetricians recognized the benefits of acupuncture, homeopathy and movement therapy — such as physical exercise and dancing — while midwives touted the benefits of a wide range of treatments like acupuncture, massage, herbal remedies, mind-body interventions, osteopathy and naturopathy.