Keywords: Cultures, Non-Western, Postpartum, Practices
Postpartum health beliefs and practices among non-Western cultures are each distinct, but have many similarities. Two common belief
systems surround 1) the importance of hot and cold, and 2) the necessity of confinement during a specific period of time after giving
birth. This article describes common postpartum health beliefs among women in Guatemala, China, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt,
Palestine, India, and Mexico, and offers an exemplar from the author's experiences as a Korean woman giving birth in the United
Cultural competence in the provision of postpartum care is essential for nurses in the healthcare world of the 21st century.
Culture Care Meanings and Experiences of Postpartum Depression among Jordanian Australian Women: A
1. Violeta Nahas, PhD, RN
1. Chinese University of Hong Kong
1. Nawal Amasheh, RN
1. Auburn Hospital and Community Health Services
This study discovers, describes, and explains the personal experiences, perceptions, and care meanings of Jordanian
women who have suffered postpartum depression. Most post-partum cases often are misdiagnosed as exclusively
psychological and untreated by health care professionals without consideration to the cultural meanings of this problem.
Understanding the experiences of these women is important, as their expressions often are contextually and culturally
influenced. Using Leininger’s Theory of Culture Care Diversity and Universality, a purposive sample of 22 Jordanian
women diagnosed with postpartum depression, living in Sydney, were interviewed. The ethnonursing research method
and data analysis procedures were used. Results revealed that Jordanian mothers experienced severe loss of control
over emotions of loneliness, hopelessness, and feelings of being a bad mother. Three major themes focusing on the care
meanings and experiences of Jordanian women are discussed: (a) Care means strong family support and kinship during
the postpartum period, (b) care is carrying out and fulfilling traditional gender roles as mother and wife, and (c) care is
preservation of Jordanian childbearing customs as expressed in the celebration of the birth of the baby.
The Practice of Prelacteal Feeding to Newborns Among Hindu and Muslim Families
The women who midwives serve are often from varying cultural backgrounds. Awareness of and respect for diverse
cultural practices is an inherent part of being a culturally competent midwife. Balancing our ability to provide optimal health
care while respecting and incorporating a woman's beliefs and customs is just one aspect of the art of midwifery. There
are instances, however, when these are in opposition. This case offers an opportunity to explore the Hindu and Muslim
traditions of feeding sweets to newborns. A midwife may embrace and respect a Hindu or Muslim woman's religious
practice of feeding sweets to the newborn while also being cognizant of practices that may be harmful to the newborn or
Islam and Hinduism are the second and third largest religions in the world, respectively. Women from Hindu and Muslim
communities, many of whom seek the care of midwives, are a growing population in the United States. They may include
recent, more established immigrant communities or first- and second-generation American citizens. Hindu and Muslim
families may originate from the South Asian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, South America, or Africa.
Estimates from 2001 suggest that there are more than 1 million Muslims and nearly 800,000 Hindus in the United States.
In New York City, Asians, of which many are Hindu and Muslim, comprised 12% of the population in 2006. In that
same year, it was estimated that up to 10% of the births in New York City were to Hindu or Muslim women with ancestry
from Guyana, Trinidad, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. According to the US Census in 2000, there were approximately
2.3 million Asians of Indian, Bangladeshi, Indonesian, Malaysian, Maldivian, Nepalese, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, or
Singaporean descent in the United States.
Given these diverse roots, it is recognized that Hindu and Muslim families' beliefs and practices vary from country to
country, and family to family.[1,5] Therefore, it is important to ask a pregnant woman about her infant feeding preferences.
This would include discussing the practice of feeding sweets or other prelacteal feeds and any other customs or practices
believed to assist the newborn transition. Prelacteals, including definitions, practices, and beliefs, are explored in this