The purpose of this study was to determine the use of traditional practices to ease labour among Turkish women. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 809 women by using an investigator-designed questionnaire. The mean age of the women was 28.9 ± 8.33 years (min = 15, max = 74), 49.4% were between 20–29 years of age and more than half (56.2%) of the women had had one to two pregnancies. The results showed that traditional practices were known and applied mostly by the women who were at an advanced age, less educated and who lived in rural areas. In addition, the knowledge and application status of traditional practices related to religious beliefs were found to be very high compared with superstitious practices. It was suggested that nurses provide culturally competent care that requires a commitment by the individual nurse to develop, refine and use specific skills in the care of women.