EXPLORING AWARENESS AND ATTITUDES OF NURSES TOWARDS HERBAL MEDICINE USE DURING PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING
Herbal medicine is one of the popular complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies used by women. The aim of the present study was to explore awareness and attitudes of nurses towards herbal medicine use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. A descriptive design was used to collect data from all nurses working at maternity units, King Khalid Hospital, Jeddah. Data were collected using a questionnaire designed by the investigators on socio-demographic background, awareness, and attitudes regarding herbal medicine use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. More than two thirds of the participants heard about herbal medicine and knew about its use by women during pregnancy and breastfeeding (88.6% and 68.6% respectively). However, more than half of them were not aware of its benefits or harms (55.7% and 65.7%). Half of them were familiar to and aware of the effects of ginger (55.7%) and garlic (51.4%). However, most of them were unfamiliar of myrrh (78.6%), fenugreek (71.4%), and fennel (68.6%). Participants had neutral and positive attitudes towards herbal medicine use during pregnancy and breastfeeding (43% and 57% respectively). Statistically significant correlations were found between attitudes towards herbal medicine and nurses’ age and number of children (P=0.03). Although nurses knew about herbal medicine use by women during pregnancy and breastfeeding and had favorable attitudes towards it, more than half of them need to be aware of its benefits or harms.
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