The experience of being a traditional midwife: living and working in relationship with women.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION The purpose of this project was to learn from traditional midwives about their experience of practicing in an area of rural Kenya. METHODS This qualitative, service-based research project used a simple exploratory and descriptive design. Data were collected through in-depth interviews and fieldwork notes taken during and immediately after the interviews with 84 traditional midwives. Data were thematically analyzed and themes identified through paired-author consensus. Exemplars using the participants' translated words were used for analysis and presentation purposes. RESULTS In being humble, patient, and kind, the traditional midwives used their relationships with women to create an enabling, calm, and physiologically sound intrapartum environment. DISCUSSION Traditional midwives provide a valuable service to women in this area of Kenya at a time when their role is being increasingly devalued by global health agencies. We recommend a redirection of global policy from one that esteems only professional caregivers to one that recognizes the potential value of traditional midwives and supports them through sustainable, evidence-based education and resourcing.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1542-2011.2011.00025.x

Cite this paper

@article{Dietsch2011TheEO, title={The experience of being a traditional midwife: living and working in relationship with women.}, author={Elaine Dietsch and Luc Mulimbalimba-Masururu}, journal={Journal of midwifery & women's health}, year={2011}, volume={56 2}, pages={161-6} }