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Use of alternative and complementary therapies in labor and delivery care: a cross-sectional study of midwives" training in Catalan hospitals accredited as centers for normal birth
Muñoz Sellés, Ester; Vallés Segalés, Antoni; Goberna Tricas, Josefina
Universitat de Barcelona
Background: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and complementary and alternative therapies (CAT) during pregnancy is increasing. Scientific evidence for CAM and CAT in the field of obstetrics mainly covers pain relief in labor. Midwives are responsible for labor and delivery care: hence, their knowledge of CAM and CAT is important. The aims of this study are to describe the professional profile of midwives who provide care for natural childbirth in Catalan hospitals accredited as centers for normal birth, to assess midwives" level of training in CAT and their use of these therapies, and to identify specific resources for CAT in labor wards. Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional, quantitative method was used to assess the level of training and use of CAT by midwives working at 28 hospitals in Catalonia, Spain, accredited as public normal birth centers. Results: Just under a third of midwives (30.4%) trained in CAT after completion of basic training. They trained in an average of 5.97 therapies (SD 3.56). The number of CAT in which the midwives were trained correlated negatively with age (r = - 0.284; p < 0.001) and with their time working at the hospital in years (r = - 0.136; p = 0.036). Midwives trained in CAT considered that the following therapies were useful or very useful for pain relief during labor and delivery: relaxation techniques (64.3%), hydrotherapy (84.8%) and the application of compresses to the perineum (75.9%). The availability of resources for providing CAT during normal birth care varied widely from center to center. Conclusions: Age may influence attitudes towards training. It is important to increase the number of midwives trained in CAM for pain relief during childbirth, in order to promote the use of CAT and ensure efficiency and safety. CAT resources at accredited hospitals providing normal childbirth care should also be standardized.
Medicines alternatives
Alternative medicine
cc-by (c) Muñoz Sellés, Ester et al., 2013
BioMed Central

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