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ABSTRACT

Midwives in the United Kingdom (UK) are autonomous, independent practitioners and the lead professionals in normal pregnancy and childbirth. Changing Childbirth, a government report, gave a recommendation that women should have continuity of care. Midwives have recognized the ability to implement complementary therapies in health care and have succeeded in forming the Complementary Therapies in Maternity Care National Forum (May 1988). The National Health Service Confederation identified midwives as the highest users of complementary therapies in the health care services. Mid-wives are in a position to incorporate complementary therapies into their practice in conjunction with the rules and guidelines promulgated by the UK Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Visiting. Highlighting the Complementary Therapies in Maternity Care National Forum underscores the increased use of therapies by midwives in the UK. Documentation of complementary therapies used in midwifery practice has resulted in some evidence-based practice for reference. Caseload midwifery (the progressive approach of smaller teams of midwives, who are community-based) and education can play key roles in integrating complementary therapies into midwifery, providing women with more choice, and achieving greater client satisfaction from the childbirth experience. Success is also dependent on government commitment and involvement.