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THE USE OF COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES IN MIDWIFERY IN THE UK

Authors

  • Angela Liburd RN, RM, BA

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      346 Lee High Road, London, SE12 8RS, England.
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    • Angela Liburd is a practicing midwife with 10 years of clinical experience. This has been achieved through working in the National Health Service in the hospital and community setting as well as in Saudi Arabia. Ms. Liburd has been using complementary therapies since 1992. She achieved the Diploma of Higher Education in complementary therapy (aromatherapy) in 1996 at the University of Greenwich. She completed the Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in therapeutic massage in June 1998 and is a Level III Reiki practitioner. She has been a member of the Working Party devising policies for the use of complementary therapies at her workplace, and is currently working on guidelines for their use. Ms. Liburd is the regional representative for the Complementary Therapies in Maternity Care National Forum. She provides workshops and gives lectures on the use of aromatherapy and massage for pregnant women and babies.


346 Lee High Road, London, SE12 8RS, England.

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.

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