Are There Other Ways of Knowing? An Exploration of Intuition as a Source of Authoritative Knowledge in Childbirth

This source preferred by Jane Fry

Authors: Fry, J.

Journal: MIDIRS Midwifery Digest

Volume: 17

Pages: 325-328

ISSN: 0961-5555

Out of the diversity of ways of knowing in the Western world has emerged a hegemonic emphasis on knowledge that is based on scientific principles. Scientific knowledge-seeking is portrayed customarily as value-neutral, objective, rational and dispassionate and the current culture of modern healthcare demands evidence based knowledge as a fountain for practice. Arguably there is also a role for intuition in supporting healthcare; however intuition does not lend itself easily to rationalisation. Its association with emotion leads to its devaluation for consideration as part of the healthcare planning. Its nature could also be conceived as diffuse, leading to difficulties in measuring and generalisabilty of this phenomenon within the scientific paradigm. It is the intention of this paper to analyse the nature of intuition and how it relates to childbirth, and to evaluate any strategies that may ameliorate the subjugation of women's (midwives and childbearing women) intuitive knowledge.

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