Pregnancy, delivery and puerperium: beliefs and practices of midwives in San Luis Potosi, Mexico

Blanca Pelcastre Norma Villegas Verónica De León Agustín Díaz Doris Ortega Manuel Santillana Juana de los Ángeles Mejía About the authors

OBJECTIVE: To document the beliefs and practices of traditional midwifes in regard to pregnancy, delivery and puerperium. METHOD: Taking advantage of a training course for 160 local traditional midwives from the Media and Huasteca regions of San Luis Potosí State, Mexico. Two of the teacher-nurses interviewed 25 of them, supported by a member of Náhuatl and Tenek communities. The participant's identity was kept anonymous and permit for publications of results was obtained by informed consent. RESULTS: Traditional midwifes practices are common in social groups lacking health services. Their role is not limited to delivery and includes nursing, prenatal and puerperium care, as well as emotional and affective support to delivering mothers and their families. In this study several myths and traditional therapies were registered. CONCLUSION: The traditional therapy and primary health care resources of the Náhuatl and Tenek midwifes are useful and harmless for the perinatal care.

Midwives, practical; Health knowledge, attitudes, practice; Parturition; Puerperium; Women's health

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