Understanding woman-centred care in complementary medicine
Therapeutic relationships are at the core of complementary medicine practice for pregnant and birthing women.
The use of complementary medicine (CM) by pregnant and birthing women is increasingly common – yet little is known about the nature of this care.
New research has sought to understand the approach to care by CM practitioners towards women during pregnancy and birth.
Led by Dr Amie Steel, Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM), this study examined the perspectives of 23 CM practitioners to understand their experience of caring for pregnant and birthing women.
The research found that establishing and developing a positive therapeutic relationship between the practitioner and the woman was a priority for CM practitioners that underpinned all aspects of their approach to care.
Dr Steel says that the practitioner-woman rapport is invaluable to women’s birthing experience.
Women’s empowerment, control and overall birth satisfaction is linked to informed decision-making, which is facilitated by a successful therapeutic relationship with their practitioners.
Dr Amie Steel
Senior Research Fellow, Australian Research Centre for Complementary and Integrative Medicine
Such attitudes highlight the integration of women-centre care principles into complementary medicine practice, a finding that Dr Steel says is “unsurprising”.
“The fact that CM practitioners work towards an approach to care which aligns with a woman-centre model of care is unsurprising,” she says.
“The underlying philosophies between woman-centred care principles mirror the core principles of many CM systems of medicine.”
Read the full journal article here [opens external site].