Traditional practices of women from India: pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care.
ABSTRACT This article describes maternal and child care practices among women from India. As in all cultures, certain beliefs exist surrounding what facilitates a good pregnancy and its outcome, as well as negative sanctions. These practices continue to influence many immigrant women to whom western practices are either unknown or unacceptable. An understanding of the traditional belief system of such women can case their adaptation into the Canadian and U.S. health care systems.
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ABSTRACT: The difficult birth process of humans, often described as the "obstetric dilemma," is commonly assumed to reflect antagonistic selective pressures favoring neonatal encephalization and maternal bipedal locomotion. However, cephalo-pelvic disproportion is not exclusive to humans, and is present in some primate species of smaller body size. The fossil record indicates mosaic evolution of the obstetric dilemma, involving a number of different evolutionary processes, and it appears to have shifted in magnitude between Australopithecus, Pleistocene Homo, and recent human populations. Most attention to date has focused on its generic nature, rather than on its variability between populations. We re-evaluate the nature of the human obstetric dilemma using updated hominin and primate literature, and then consider the contribution of phenotypic plasticity to variability in its magnitude. Both maternal pelvic dimensions and fetal growth patterns are sensitive to ecological factors such as diet and the thermal environment. Neonatal head girth has low plasticity, whereas neonatal mass and maternal stature have higher plasticity. Secular trends in body size may therefore exacerbate or decrease the obstetric dilemma. The emergence of agriculture may have exacerbated the dilemma, by decreasing maternal stature and increasing neonatal growth and adiposity due to dietary shifts. Paleodemographic comparisons between foragers and agriculturalists suggest that foragers have considerably lower rates of perinatal mortality. In contemporary populations, maternal stature remains strongly associated with perinatal mortality in many populations. Long-term improvements in nutrition across future generations may relieve the dilemma, but in the meantime, variability in its magnitude is likely to persist. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Physical Anthropology 01/2012; 149(S55). DOI:10.1002/ajpa.22160 · 2.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: to explore the traditional birthing practices of Singaporean women. RESEARCH DESIGN: a qualitative study using a phenomenological approach. Data were collected using individual interviews, which were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Colaizzi's phenomenological method was used to analyse the data. SETTING: obstetric outpatient clinics in a tertiary hospital in Singapore. PARTICIPANTS: a purposive sample of 30 women, 1-3 months postpartum. FINDINGS: two broad themes emerged-following tradition and challenging tradition. KEY CONCLUSIONS: Singaporean women experiencing pregnancy and childbirth follow tradition through the influence of their mother and mother-in-law and because of worry over consequences that may result if they do not. Tradition is also challenged through the modification or rejection of traditional practices and changing family roles and expectations. IMPLICATIONS: health professionals need to provide accurate information on traditional birthing practices and scientific evidence to support or refute such practices with the aim of preventing women from adhering to practices that are hazardous to them and the baby.Midwifery 11/2011; 28(6). DOI:10.1016/j.midw.2011.10.003 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To explore and describe the indigenous beliefs and practices that influence the attendance of antenatal clinics by women in the Bohlabelo district in Limpopo, South Africa A qualitative design was used to enable participants to share their beliefs and practices in their own words. Purposive sampling was used. Women who were attending antenatal clinics for the first time were targeted. Data were collected via unstructured in-depth interviews. Twelve women were interviewed. The findings were grouped into six main categories: pregnancy is a honour; pregnancy needs to be preserved; the unborn infant is protected; the knowledge that clients have; trust in indigenous perinatal practices; and perceptions regarding clinic or hospital services. It became clear that the indigenous beliefs and practices of pregnant women have an influence on their attendance of antenatal clinics. For example, factors such as fear of bewitchment cause delayed attendance of antenatal clinics. Women use herbs to preserve and protect their unborn infants from harm. They also trust the knowledge of traditional birth attendants, and prefer their care and expertise to the harsh treatment that they receive from midwives in hospitals and clinics who look down on their indigenous beliefs and practices. It is recommended that indigenous beliefs and practices should be incorporated into the midwifery curriculum, so that the health sector is able to meet the needs of all members of the community.Midwifery 12/2010; 28(1):30-8. DOI:10.1016/j.midw.2010.11.002 · 1.71 Impact Factor