Wednesday, July 11, 2007
This presentation is part of : Culturally Diverse Healthcare Issues
Cultural awareness: the postpartum practices among women in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand
Susanha Yimyam, PhD, Department of Obstetric and Gynecological Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Learning Objective #1: The learner will be able to be aware cultural differences betqween health providers and postpartum mothers.
Learning Objective #2: The learner will be able to provide sensitive care to make more meaningful to the many women who have decided to become a mother.

Childbearing is seen as a biosocial event in the context of the socio-cultural environment in which it occurs.  Every society provides a system of knowledge and behaviors for coping with the birth of a child, including beliefs and practices concerning pregnancy and childbirth; the social organization of birth; and the mobilization of emotional and social support.  In different cultures, the period after birth is experienced differently.  This paper derive from a qualitative study by using in-depth interviews in relation to traditional and changed beliefs and practices regarding pregnancy and childbirth with 30 Thai women in Northern Thailand, as well as hospital and participant observation.  The findings reveal that all women in this study practiced Yuu Duan (confinement) for about one month after giving birth.  Within this schema, most considered themselves to be very weak after delivery.  Certain food prohibitions and curtailed activities were deemed necessary to recover, of which most reflected their practice of hot and cold balance.  In general, these traditional beliefs and practices provide an opportunity to adjust to the role of being a mother of a newborn.  Since both mother and baby stay together, they can learn from one another. However, some traditional notions may  impede or be harmful in the promotion of the mother’s health, such as, no bathing, showering, or washing of hair within one week or during one month; in addition, avoiding fruits and vegetables.