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Perceptions of Giving Birth and Adherence to Cultural Practices in Chinese Women

Callister, Lynn Clark PhD, RN, FAAN; Eads, Megan Nicole BS, RN; Yeung Diehl, Jenny Pui See BS, RN

MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: November-December 2011 - Volume 36 - Issue 6 - p 387–394
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0b013e31822de397
Feature Article

Purpose To compare the childbirth experiences of Chinese women living in varied sociocultural contexts.

Method Qualitative study of 34 Chinese women who had given birth in their country of origin (the People's Republic of China [PRC] or Taiwan) and Chinese women who immigrated to the United States.

Findings This research provides insights into the perspectives of mothers living in varied sociocultural contexts. Themes included expecting a child and defining birth expectations, experiencing giving birth, adhering to cultural beliefs and practices, and framing birth within sociocultural context.

Implications for Clinical Practice There are cultural beliefs and practices associated with giving birth in all cultures, and because there is such rich cultural diversity in the United States, it is important for nurses caring for childbearing women to understand Chinese cultural beliefs and practices in order to provide culturally competent care.

The strict rules regarding childbirth in the Chinese culture can be comforting, or restricting.

Lynn Clark Callister is a Professor Emerita at Brigham Young University College of Nursing, Provo, UT. She can be reached via e-mail at

Megan Nicole Eads is from Primary Children's Medical Center, Provo, UT.

Jenny Pui See Yeung Diehl is an FNP Student at Brigham Young University College of Nursing, Provo, UT.

The authors have disclosed that there is no financial relationships related to this article.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.