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

Amie Steel, Helen Hall, Helene Diezel, Jon Wardle, Jon Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-178
Number of pages5
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Complementary therapies
  • Interprofessional care
  • Maternity services
  • Pregnancy
  • Qualitative research

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