Indigenous stories of pregnant women in Botshabelo on ensuring positive pregnancy outcomes
Kortman, Ditsietsi Palesa Valeria
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Negative pregnancy outcomes such as stillbirths are an undesirable occurrence in Botshabelo, Free State Province. The fear of such outcomes often propels pregnant women to seek multiple interventions to ensure positive pregnancy outcomes instead. In many African cultures, pregnancy is considered a sensitive life event. Necessarily, traditional methods ought to be in place for the protection of the pregnant woman and her unborn baby. It is against this background that the purpose of the study was to explore and describe the indigenous stories of pregnant Botshabelo women in ensuring positive pregnancy outcomes. The study opted for a qualitative research design approach in its exploration and description of the indigenous stories of pregnant Botshabelo women in their endeavour to ensure positive pregnancy outcomes. In-depth individual interviews were conducted with 12 (twelve) purposively sampled pregnant Botshabelo women for the collection of the study’s empirical data, which was subsequently analysed thematically for the purpose of constructing intelligible categories of meanings in relation to both the investigated problem and the study’s main purpose. The main findings of the study revealed that indigenous beliefs and practices were a vital element during pregnancy among the Botshabelo women. These culturally-steeped beliefs and practices were viewed as fundamentally instrumental and central to the support systems required for sustenance before, during, and after pregnancy. The key recommendations included the implementation of an integrated health system that prioritised collaboration of indigenous and non-indigenous health systems.