Research: ALLAIRE and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 52


ALLAIRE and colleagues, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill USA conducted a survey to determine the prevalence and types of complementary and alternative medicine therapies used by certified nurse-midwives in North Carolina.



: Surveys were sent to all 120 licensed certified nurse-midwives in North Carolina requesting information regarding their recommendations for the use of complementary and alternative medicine for their pregnant or postpartum patients.


Of the 82 responses received (68.3%), 77 (93.9%) reported recommending complementary and alternative medicine to their pregnant patients during the past year. 47 (57.3%) reported recommending complementary and alternative medicine to more than 10% of their patients. The percentage of nurse-midwives recommending each type of complementary and alternative medicine was as follows: herbal medicine (73.2%); massage therapy (67.1%); chiropractic (57.3%); acupressure (52.4%); mid-body therapies (48.8%); aromatherapy (32.9%); homoeopathy (30.5%); spiritual healing (23.2%); acupuncture (19.5%) and bioelectric or magnet therapy (14.6%). The indications for which the 60 respondents prescribed herbal therapies were: nausea and vomiting, labour stimulation, perineal discomfort, lactation disorders, postpartum depression, preterm labour, postpartum haemorrhage, labour analgesia and malpresentation.


Complementary and alternative medicine, particularly herbal medicine, is frequently prescribed to pregnant women by nurse-midwives in North Carolina.


Allaire AD et al. Complementary and alternative medicine in pregnancy: a survey of North Carolina certified nurse-midwives Obstetrics and Gynecology 95(1): 19-23. Jan 2000.

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