Use of indigenous explanations and remedies to further understand nausea and vomiting during pregnancy

Health Care Women Int. Jan-Feb 1999;20(1):49-61. doi: 10.1080/073993399245953.


Professional and indigenous midwives are rich and appropriate sources of information about antenatal comfort measures. Midwives from a variety of geographic and cultural areas were interviewed to further our understanding of the phenomenon of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (NVP). The midwives offered general physiological, psychological, and socioeconomic etiological theories that were, at times, inconsistent with their recommended remedies. The remedies generally included alterations in maternal nutrition, activity, and environment. Commonalities in the midwives theories of etiology and treatment were found across culturally and geographically diverse groups. Much of the variation that was noted in the midwives recommendations for treatment was related to (a) availability of a specific remedy and (b) the midwife's willingness to either support or discourage intuitive responses that women have to their pregnancies (e.g., encourage either additional rest or exercise and productive activity; social withdrawal or usual social interaction; and pica and food cravings or a balanced diet with high nutritive value).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional*
  • Midwifery / methods*
  • Nausea / ethnology*
  • Nausea / etiology
  • Nausea / prevention & control*
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Theory
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / ethnology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vomiting / ethnology*
  • Vomiting / etiology
  • Vomiting / prevention & control*