Complementary and alternative medicine in obstetrics

F. W.J. Anderson, C. T. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify, survey and review randomized controlled studies of the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for obstetric treatment or health promotion. Methods: The MEDLINE database was searched to identify randomized controlled trials of CAM treatment and therapies in obstetrics. Studies examining modalities for treatment or improvement of health status were reviewed. Results: Fifty-four articles assessing a variety of health modalities met the criteria for inclusion. Acupressure and ginger for prenatal nausea and vomiting, moxibustion for version of breech presentation, sterile water injections for back pain relief in labor, and perineal massage to prevent perineal trauma have three or more studies demonstrating beneficial effect. Other interventions have been studied less, and evidence for them is limited. Conclusions: Some CAM interventions have evidence of effectiveness for use in obstetric patients, while others require further investigation before they can be considered for use in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-124
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • CAM
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Obstetrics
  • Pregnancy
  • Traditional medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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