Author(s):Norah A. Alshehri
Background: Many women are using herbs during pregnancy. Moreover, the literature reports the practice of pregnant women using herbs to induce labor. Worryingly, the prevalence, sources, and reasons of the herbs being used in labor are not established in Saudi Arabia, ultimately creating uncertainty for both pregnant women and physicians. Objective: The study aimed to determine the prevalence of herbal use among pregnant women with inducing labor, their sources, and the motivations underlying these practices. Methods: Using a convenient random sampling technique, 340 postpartum women were interviewed in a cross-sectional study. The study, which was approved by the Institutional Review Board, occurred between April and July 2019 at King Saud University Medical City (KSUMC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Results: Of the women interviewed, 31.5% had used herbs to induce labor, with a statistically significant association among women with age between 25 and 35 years old (p=0.003). The participants reported using herbs during labor because of a belief that they might shorten and ease labor. Conclusion: The findings show an alarming rate of herbal use to induce labor among full-term pregnant women associated with non-evidence-based medicine practices.