Use of Medicinal Herbs During the Childbearing Year Among Direct-Entry Midwives in the Pacific Northwest Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/g158bk39m

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  • Midwives in the Unites States frequently prescribe herbs and other complementary and alternative therapies for the common complaints of pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period. Although many studies have reported quantitative data on midwives utilization of herbs, this research aims to convey ethnographic information on midwives use, beliefs, and perceptions of herbal therapies in the Pacific Northwest United States. Midwife subjects (n=6) participated in open-ended, semi-structured interviews, which were later transcribed and coded for themes. We identified four overarching themes: a) Herbs as supportive therapy, b) the need to balance CAM therapies with pharmaceuticals, c) Herbs as commonly combined with diet and exercise interventions, and d) Herbal therapies as a key component of the Midwifery Model of Care™. We concluded that midwives all used herbs, but in varying capacities. Additionally, midwives prefer to let women’s bodies heal themselves before turning to an intervention of any kind, whether it is herbal or pharmaceutical. This research represents the first qualitative study on midwives utilization of herbs, more research is needed to broaden the communal knowledge utilization of herbal therapies by midwives during pregnancy.
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