Doctors believe there is a critical need for science-based proof about alternative therapies and treatments used in pregnancy. With more and more pregnant women turning to alternative medicinal treatments while pregnant, obstetricians need more information about these treatments to provide proof-based suggestions or advice to patients. 

Dr. Jon Adams is at the forefront of the alternative education movement in Australia. He is a professor at the University of Queensland and Executive Director for NORPHCAM in Australia. NORPHCAM stands for Network of Researchers in Public Health of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 

Pregnant women have the right to choose either traditional medical care or alternative care for pregnancy. According to Adams, communication between traditional doctors and alternative caregivers needs to be based on respect, offering the best possible outcome for a pregnant patient. 

According to Adam’s research, which included surveys of more than 3,000 doctors and caregivers in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada, among others, fewer than expected doctors have any training in alternative medicine. 

There is a common misconception that alternative therapy is dangerous therapy. Many obstetricians in the United States refer patients for massage therapy and acupuncture to relieve pregnancy symptoms. These are considered alternative therapies. Though obstetricians may suggest these alternative solutions, professional training on the effect of such care on the pregnant patient is limited. 

Adam’s hopes the results of his research will push more obstetricians to learn about potential alternative therapies and the proven effects these therapies have on pregnancy, pain relief and more. 

Source: University of Queensland. Dr. Jon Adams. 28 February, 2011.