Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Implications for Women and Their Health Care Providers During the Childbearing Years

Peggy Rosati Allen, CNM, WHNP, MS, LCCE


J Midwifery Womens Health. 2008;53(4):289-301. 

In This Article



"Empathy and caring have tremendous capacity to facilitate healing in a patient with an illness for which there is no cure."

— Stuart Dreschler [61]

CFS is a complex debilitating physiologic illness with a poorly understood etiology and no known cure. Providers of women's health care have a responsibility to increase awareness and sensitivity regarding this disorder, which affects a preponderance of women with profound effects on the individual and her family (some CFS resources for patients can be found in the Appendix). Although the interaction between CFS and pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period is not yet scientifically elucidated, evidence indicates that the midwife is ideally suited to provide the type of perinatal care that is most conducive to a positive childbirth experience for women with CFS. Empathy and caring, in addition to high standards for quality, evidence-based care, are among the hallmarks of midwifery care. By virtue of who we are as health care providers, midwives can make a powerful and positive impact on the health and well-being of a woman with CFS, a benefit that can extend to her entire family.


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