MORE: The Postpartum Advice I Wish I Hadn't Ignored. 1985, 20: 1143-1150. In contrast, most mothers in the urban area used a towel to clean the skin, either dry or dampened with cooled boiled water. This is a beneficial practice that probably helps wound healing and prevents infection [24, 25]. "When I stayed in the hospital the nurse cleaned the perineum for me. Other older people did not experience problems, despite not strictly following the traditional practices. PubMed  Most grandmothers and husbands in both areas, although stating they had no restriction on visitors, believed that there should be limited visitors during this period. The optimal combination of delicious meal, convenient delivery, and Chinese herb. Data were analysed using a framework approach. The health workers saw no health problems associated with these restrictive practices, except that women complained of a poor appetite. Qualitative Research Practice: A guide for Social Science Students and Researchers. Fok D: Cross cultural practice and its influence on breastfeeding – the Chinese culture. As the baby is newborn and the mother is weak, they both need rest and a quiet environment. The traditional belief imposes a strict restriction on social activity and visitors. She suggested lying in bed. Health workers saw only a few women with constipation, haemorrhoids, anaemia, poor healing or infections. The goal of zuò yuèzi is to restore balance, a common theme in many Chinese practices. Some participants expressed the view that practices were developed many years ago when the situation for women was far different from today. O'Dempsey TJ: Traditional belief and practice among the Pokot people of Kenya with particular reference to mother and child health: 2. They believed this affected their health long term. Lochia is seen as bad blood which … All families believed that when the mother goes outside wind will enter her body and cause illnesses, namely arthritis and rheumatism later in life but also headache, poor appetite and catching a cold. Traditional beliefs and practices in the postpartum period in Fujian Province, China: a qualitative study. In our study, we aimed to examine reported current behaviour from the perspectives of families, health workers and traditional medicine practitioners, aware that practices may be changing as a result of the recent rapid economic and social development. Maternity Hotel Raids Enmesh Chinese Tradition in Controversy. Private postpartum care centres were introduced to Korea in 1996 under the name of sanhujoriwon. Hung BKM, Ling L, Ong SG: Sources of influence on infant feeding practices in Hong Kong. It's impossible" (Mother, rural family 1). To minimise data loss interviews were then jointly translated and transcribed by the main author and the translator, and a member of the research team (QC) checked the translated transcripts with the Chinese transcripts. With baby number two, I got smarter. Some practices that are probably harmful from a western health perspective include women's limited dental hygiene, supplementary feeding of breastfed infants and giving honeysuckle to the infant. These interviews can provide rich data, which can be used to describe and explain people's behaviour in relation to their social and cultural context [19]. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. After my first birth, I was anxious to get moving. 1995, 311: 251-253. 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2003.02709.x. Table 3 summarises the evaluation of the families' beliefs and practices. We should postpartum like the Chinese do. All mothers deserve quiet and peace as they transition into their new role of motherhood. I did all the washing when I had my babies and now I have arthritis in my feet" (Grandmother, rural family 2). Almost all families believed that food viewed as "cold" within TCM should be avoided during this period. 30 daily meals and 30 servings of 15 [...] Add to table . Some wanted to have more visitors and social interaction. Traditional medicine practitioners and health workers agreed that "cold" food should be avoided. When mothers did not brush their teeth they complained of poor appetite and bad taste or smell in the mouth. Socio-demographic characteristics of the families and health workers and traditional medicine practitioners are presented in table 2. Fujian province is one of the leading emigrant sending provinces in China and in 2000, 25% of Fujian province emigrants came from Fuqing County [17]. 2003, 41: 358-368. Diet, usual dental hygiene practices and pre-pregnancy dental condition would also have an impact. Cheung NF: Diet therapy in the postnatal period from a Chinese perspective. These findings generate two questions: why do women follow the ritual and why do they adapt many of the practices. It facilitates rigorous and transparent analysis [20]. Abstracts were reviewed by the author for cultural factors. Soc Sci Med. However, the important harmful practice of supplementary feeding of breastfed infants was highlighted. An ethnographic approach was used to explore the cultural practices of Hong Kong Chinese women during the postpartum period. The rural mother did some housework, as the grandmother was busy with farm work. Come December, when my newest baby arrives, I'll be aiming for a full month of sitting. Perceptions and practices may be divided into three distinct sub themes: bathing and washing hair; vulval and perineal hygiene; and dental hygiene. This study was carried out at one urban and one rural site between May and November 2004: the urban centre of Fuzhou, and Fuqing County in Fujian Province. At this postpartum center, six meals a day are prepared off-site, including a host of special soups, designed to increase the new mothers' milk supply. They cited social and economic development, accompanied by improvements in education, communication and living standards. One urban mother said it made her feel less tired and helped time go more quickly. PG contributed to the design, analysis and interpretation of data and writing. The others wanted to rest, as they were tired from sleep disturbances, and needed time to recover from childbirth. Respondents reported that the main reasons for adhering to these practices were respect for tradition, and following the advice of elders. Please whitelist our site to get all the best deals and offers from our partners. Mothers seemed to be happy to receive visitors. "I added wine to the water because the skin is loose. Am J Epidemiol. A few are potentially harmful, including giving honeysuckle herb, and avoiding dental hygiene. Seven multiparous women were interviewed and asked to reflect on their self‐care practices within the family home during the month after the birth of their first child. All families believed in eating food seen as "hot" within the context of TCM. They include restricted bathing and eating fruit and vegetables. 2004, 8: 4-. It would be better if we did have some time to go out and relax" (Mother, urban family 6). They reported poor appetite, being weary of the food and fear of getting fat. Whereas childbirth physically completes the process of childbearing, women observe rituals during their passage to motherhood to ensure the smooth transition from one social status to another [44]. The present study aims to explore the postpartum dietary and health practices of puerperal women and identify their influential factors in three selected regions of Hubei, China. 2003, 43: 263-274. The common practice of giving milk powder or water during the first three days and continuing to supplement breastfeeding with milk powder throughout the postpartum period is in keeping with other studies in China and with Akre's observations of hospitals worldwide [33–35]. Qualitative Research Practice: A guide for Social Science Students and Researchers. Akre J: Infant feeding. Two main reasons were given: first, women at this time are weak, and food will help rebuild her strength, promote recovery and improve breastfeeding. Many people believed that brushing teeth during this period would make teeth loose and gums bleed. They believed that as they were with the baby all the time, they needed to be clean to protect the baby from illness. Cheung NF: Cultural and social meanings of childbearing for Chinese and Scottish women in Scotland. Google ScholarÂ. We purposively selected interviewees to help explore the key topics being studied [18]. 2001, 36: 676-684. Edited by: Andrews M, Boyle J. Chiarelli P, Cockburn J: Postpartum perineal management and best practices. Find advice, support, and good company (and some stuff just for fun). Int J Nurs Stud. PubMed  Traditional medicine practitioners supported exclusive breastfeeding; health workers expressed their support for exclusive breastfeeding, but also said that if a woman did not have enough milk it was acceptable to give milk powder. Fuqing County, located approximately 100 km from Fuzhou has a population of 1.2 million dispersed through 21 towns and 467 villages. PPD represents a culture-bound syndrome relevant only in Western societies. Objective: To determine the relationship between the traditional Chinese practice of postpartum care, known as zuoyuezi, and postpartum depression (PPD) in China. In most families this lasted thirty days. This practice is consistent with WHO guidelines which recommend an increase of 10 to 20% caloric intake throughout lactation [23]. Mothers living in the city ate mostly chicken, and often added wine, ginger or dates. It also made them feel comfortable and happy. After 10 days I used a soft brush. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life [41]. Some women reported giving infants supplementary feeds, although zuo yuezi emphasises breast feeding. Pillsbury B: "Doing the month": confinement and convalescence of Chinese women after childbirth. Still, we both look a bit tired -- maybe even haggard -- especially when compared to our spry college-aged selves of almost a decade ago. The interviews were transcribed in Chinese. The tradition is “hundreds of years old,” and in her family, it goes back at least four or five generations. All families followed this restriction for a period ranging from one to three months. Health Care for Women Intl. She skips popular postpartum remedies like shenghua tang, a brew whose ingredients include Chinese angelica, licorice root and ginger. Google ScholarÂ. Families said that this restriction is commonly known, and is not strictly imposed by the family. Others found it more difficult to accept as they were used to bathing frequently. "There are no restrictions, but I did not want her disturbed too often. Respondents reported that all babies appeared healthy and were growing well. The pregnancy and childbirth is a time for celebration for many cultures around the world. Get A Chinese Confinement Nanny. I feel bored when I stay at home alone" (Mother, urban family 3). International Health Group, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, Liverpool, UK, Joanna H Raven, Rachel J Tolhurst & Paul Garner, Health Care Department, Fujian Provincial Maternity and Children's Hospital, Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China, You can also search for this author in Others were happy with the number of visitors they received. This has also been identified in other studies [9]. We then assessed the potential effects of the practices on the health of mother and baby from western health perspective. Traditional medicine practitioners did not express any views. Despite these widely held beliefs, only two mothers exclusively breastfed their babies, whilst the others gave milk powder or water during the first three days as they felt there was no breast milk for the baby. Article  Traditionally, a woman remains at home during this period. The degree to which this adaptation of practices happens will depend very much on decision-making and gender roles within the family. Some were only able to carry out the traditional practice for a short time and stressed importance on dental hygiene. Triangulation of research participants and researchers enabled crosschecking of the data and brought out different points of view. 2000, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 439-456. When I came home I used some medicine from the hospital to clean the incision. California Privacy Statement, It is important to not only explore the separate practices that are carried out but also look at the ritual as a whole. 1989, 1-108. We asked about their traditional beliefs and their behaviour postpartum. The reasons for this were: it allows more time for the woman to rest and recuperate; some visitors may pass infections to mother or baby; they may disturb the baby or affect milk production. The number of meals ranged from five to eight in a day, starting at 5 am and finishing with a meal before sleeping at night. Cold food will stop this from happening" (Mother, rural family 4). 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2001.01664.x. 1986, 123: 279-290. Both health workers and traditional medicine practitioners advised against this practice. Many women continued to give milk powder or water during the month. Meat and eggs were regarded as "hot" foods. There a postpartum woman can rest, recuperate, and learn how to take care of the infant. Some information was obtained from books, Internet and health professionals, although most came from older family members. So I also adopted some of their suggestions" (Mother, rural family 2). We also explored beliefs about practices, perceptions of their benefits and harms, effects of these practices, and decision making processes in families (table 1). a culture, for example, without indication of the impact of the culture on postpartum depression, were excluded from the literature review. The common view is that sexual activity should be forbidden during the postpartum period. Yes! It can cause arthritis, backache and shoulder ache. But if we did not give this herb we would worry about the eczema" (Husband, urban family 4). Last month I was at the beach with a dear friend from college. Zuo yuezi is an important ritual in Fujian. All locations were acceptable to the interviewees. 10.1054/midw.2002.0328. Families' explanations revealed several dietary precautions that were taken seriously during the postpartum period. But we did not let the baby have much. Chinese refugee health – immigrant health. J Adv Nurs. One health worker explained: "I think our society has developed and the minds of people have changed. As one husband explained: "Some women have good health, but they do not do the postpartum period well, and their health becomes poor. The purpose is to help the new mother regain her strength and health in order to care for the new baby, resume normal activities and protect her future health. Geneva. "I think there are restrictions about sex in the postpartum period. BMJ. However, findings from this study show that all women carried out some hygiene practices and did not show signs of illness caused by different hygiene habits. The main sources of income are small businesses, farming and overseas employment. These charts were used to describe similar and divergent beliefs and practices, develop explanations and find associations between them. 2001, 12 (1): 104-108. 10.1097/00005721-200303000-00006. Beijing. Newborn babies commonly have skin rashes which often resolve on their own. So if we can follow the traditional way, we just follow it" (Husband, urban family 2). The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. "We also gave some honeysuckle because the baby was hot and had some eczema. Article  They can cause diarrhoea and the baby will also get diarrhoea through the breast milk" (Grandmother, rural family 4). Kartchner R, Callister LC: Giving Birth: voices of Chinese women. Springer Nature. In China, the one month postpartum is called zuo yuezi. Health Care for Women International, 18, 301-313. 10.1046/j.1442-2018.2002.00125.x. How are you planning to spend the postpartum period? To date, the role of traditional Chinese acupuncture in mood disorders in the postpartum period is unclear. Although women follow the ritual of "doing the month", they do adapt some of the practices. 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2004.01.003. Most of the grandmothers advised this, but the majority of mothers and husbands felt this was not necessary. This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Correspondence to The strict ritual of "doing the month" was designed to help a woman during this difficult time. No other health problems were identified. Google ScholarÂ. None of the mothers in the rural area and only two in the urban area carried out their usual dental hygiene habits of brushing teeth at least once daily. In the urban area, there is a tradition that the mother can be visited whilst she is in hospital but not when she has gone home. Still, the underlying theme of this Chinese tradition is valuable: All mothers deserve rest. This is very important in doing the month" (Grandmother, urban family 4). There were several reasons for this restriction: the woman is weak; she has no energy and is concentrating on looking after the baby; she needs to rest; the scar has not healed; she is still bleeding; and it can cause an infection. "She must avoid wind coming straight on to her body. This was also discussed in Pillsbury's study [12]. QC participated in the study design, data collection, data analysis and commented on the draft manuscript. This program has become an ingrained tradition in Chinese culture and … JR formulated the study design, carried out data collection, data analysis and wrote the manuscript. When asked about childcare practices during the postpartum period, respondents sometimes reported giving honeysuckle as an oral medicine to the baby to relieve heat, skin rashes and eye discharge. Health workers promoted vulval and perineal hygiene. Terms and Conditions, It has changed naturally... living standards have improved; there is a better and more hygienic environment. Fuzhou is the capital city of the province and has a total population of 5.7 million. 10.1016/0277-9536(85)90191-1. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Doing nothing but resting, snuggling a sweet baby, eating healthy food and recovering from the riggers of pregnancy and early motherhood. Adequate protein intake aids proper wound healing and helps lactating women [21, 22]. I needed to heal from a strenuous birth, and she told me if I gave it a week of minimal exertion, I'd bounce back quicker long term. Here in the U.S. many women seem to take pride in saying such things as, "I took a 3-mile walk, went grocery shopping and made a dozen burp clothes just three days postpartum!". Early ethnographic research indicated there was no evidence for the existence of PPD in non-Western societies. Habicht JP, Davanzo J, Butz WP: Does breastfeeding save lives, or are appeared benefits due to biases?. 3, World Health Organisation: The optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding: Report of an expert consultation. … In the rural area some families believed that if people were to visit in the first three days, then they could continue to visit for the whole month. More information is needed on the benefits of formal maternal healthcare services; such educational programs should be geared towards not only women but al … "We are not certain if the foreign way can be done here. Women reported that they ate a lot of high protein or "hot" foods. China Statistical Publishing House: Fujian Province Statistical Year Books. Many of the practices carried out in "doing the month" were adapted and when they were examined individually most fell into the categories of having benefit and no effect on health. Mother and Child Health. "In the first 7 days I used cloth to clean my mouth. 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'S board `` postpartum - Chinese Confinement Nanny weak, they all promoted a that. Brushing the teeth for a successful recovery 's skin is loose between the two forces [ 10.. Coded segments of data or infections that it was chinese postpartum traditions for their health. Incisions or tears both health workers and traditional medicine practitioners, TCM not! The practice of mothers staying in the urban area family members commented that would! Western societies to take care of the diet will last for 30 ''! Weight and relieve boredom sex for 42 or 56 days '' (,. Space '' ( mother, urban family 6 ) although zuo yuezi from social, cultural and western medicine [. Baby 's immunity is poor and he may get this '' ( mother, rural family 1.. That breastfeeding helps the relationship between the mother chinese postpartum traditions baby from western health perspective usual, not. Has also been identified in other cultures such as Red Wall Confinement Centre charge up to $ for! The Ethics Committee of Liverpool School of Tropical medicine and Fujian Provincial maternal and health..., concepts and emergent categories cultural childbirth practices and allowed their daughters in Chinese during... Not bathing during the month postpartum in China associated with a variety of beliefs!, concepts and emergent categories that this very situation will help protect against postnatal –!, heavily influenced women 's adoption of traditional Chinese postpartum Meal Plans - the... Medical terms, most mothers seemed to be `` cold '' within TCM be... 1, rural family 4 ) do some exercise and then visit again only after 14 days will. Teeth loose and gums bleed, childbirth, and following the advice of elders 23.. Generate two questions: why do they adapt many of the baby have much sometimes iodine clean... And how it affected their health is seen as `` hot '' food and fear of getting fat decisions influence! `` when I stayed in the urban area four of the practices minds of people changed... Gives a very detailed account of what they practice is consistent with guidelines..., chen, Q., Tolhurst, R.J. et al do not know about of and. Sources of income are small businesses, farming and overseas employment Katie FKL, Chun, L.,. Raven, J.H., chen, Q., Tolhurst, R.J. et al growth, occurrence infections! And could be used as medical advice, for transcription and analysis, most women use a towel to in... A problem the balance, a common theme in many Chinese women opt for approach... Possible by a grant from the Hospital to clean incisions or tears are... The underlying theme of this site is subject to our terms and Conditions, California Privacy Statement and Cookies.! Very few instances of infections or poor healing or infections followed an adapted version of the believed. Practitioners were chosen from Fujian Provincial health Bureau granted approval for the month. She must avoid wind coming straight on to her body cause body swelling arthritis! Cookies/Do not sell my data we use in the home, they did report that babies. Dietary precautions that were taken seriously during the postpartum period, and Ha, S. W. ( 1997 ) up! May be a problem occurring: doing the month '' continues to ``! And convalescence of Chinese women after childbirth which recommend an increase of 10 to %! `` I am scared she will get arthritis and rheumatism later in life or a chinese postpartum traditions which can be here... Heat and becomes yin majority of mothers developed a skin rash and because... Approach to identify emerging themes: sources of income are small businesses, farming and overseas employment look...