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Complementary Therapies in Midwifery Practice

Childbirth is a natural process and midwifery is the art or practice of assisting women in all aspects of the birthing process. One of the major aspects of midwifery care is supporting women in dealing with the pain of labor in line with their expectations. Despite this, in the past, there has been minimal interest in, and few options for, drug-free pain relief in the traditional hospital setting, although the midwifery literature has provided support for such options in recent years. This chapter describes the background to the inclusion of aromatherapy in midwifery and gives practical advice about useful essential oils, their effects and precautions that should be taken. It shows how The Birth Unit, over its nine years experience, has used aromatherapy and details the benefits of this complementary therapy for patients, staff and the unit in general.

Contents include

  • the challenge for change
  • introducing aromatherapy
  • types of oil used
  • administration
  • indications for and method of massage
  • inhalation.
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Author / Editor Biographies

RN, RM, Dip (Plastic Surgery) and Dip Aromatherapy.
Susie Nanayakkara trained in England and has wide clinical nursing experience gained overseas and in Australia. She worked as a senior midwife at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, before coming to Australia in 1989. Since then she has worked as a clinical nurse specialist at Auburn Hospital. Susie has always been interested in complementary therapies and completed a Diploma of Aromatherapy in 1991. She is co-author of a book on baby massage published in 1996. Susie won the Auburn Hospital and Community Health Services International Nurses' Day award in 1998 for her contribution and commit...

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