Poster Presentation

Thursday, July 12, 2007
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Thursday, July 12, 2007
3:15 PM - 4:00 PM
This presentation is part of : Poster Presentation II
Observations of Birth in Urban China
Lisa M. Landry, Nursing, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA
Learning Objective #1: Describe the process of childbirth in a large urban hospital in China.
Learning Objective #2: Identify themes uncovered in the childbirth experience in China and apply the knowledge of these themes to nursing practice in the U.S.

The World Health Organization began the Making Pregnancy Safer initiative in 2005, aiming to ensure skilled care for every birth with the goal of a global reduction in perinatal deaths, or deaths occurring from the 22nd week of pregnancy to the first seven days after birth (WHO 2006). China has an estimated 35 perinatal deaths per 1,000 live births. In comparison, the United States has a perinatal death rate of seven per 1,000 live births (WHO 2006). Perinatal care, including pregnancy monitoring, safe delivery care, and post-delivery follow-up for both mother and infant, aims to promote healthy outcomes. Perinatal mortality is an important indicator of a nation's quality and availability of maternal and child health services. To improve the maternal health services available to Chinese women, it is necessary to understand the current perinatal care practices and systems in use.  To gain this understanding,. an ethnographic approach was used to  observe labor and delivery experiences at  Peking Union Medical College Hospital. In addition, informal interviews of mothers and maternity nurses were conducted. A total of 11 births were observed:  10 were full-term, nine included episiotomies, and seven included the use of Pitocin.  Preliminary analysis of the data revealed the following themes:  lack of support systems available to the women, frequent use of medical interventions, and control and authority of the doctors.  Further analysis will be performed to support and expand these themes. This initial study may serve as the foundation for more in-depth research of the Chinese perinatal process.