The increasing demand for complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) among childbearing women has been alluded to in midwifery literature for a number of years. There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence suggesting that pregnant women are driving the demand for CAM integration in midwifery practice. Midwives reportedly support the integration of CAM because it promotes normal birth, reduces medical intervention, and results in increased job satisfaction (Mitchell and Williams, 2007). Furthermore, midwifery aided by CAM is considered to be a strategy adopted by midwives to facilitate the process of placing control away from the medical practitioner, and more into the hands of women (Adams, 2006). A literature review was undertaken to gain an understanding of the patterns of CAM demand in the UK. In particular, evidence of the extent of consumer demand for CAM was investigated. This paper presents the findings from a review initially undertaken to explore claims that CAM integration into midwifery is consumer driven. The concept of consumer demand and how this is captured and illustrated across empirical and non-empirical literature is examined. The findings highlight that appropriate research into consumer demand is required to sustain the integration of CAM in mainstream maternity care.
Jones, C. (2012). Complementary and alternative medicine in the maternity setting. British Journal of Midwifery, 20(6), 409-418. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjom.2012.20.6.409