Online Program

Post-partum rituals around the globe: Advancing the research agenda through kleinman's explanatory model

Monday, November 4, 2013

Roselande Marcellon, MA, MPH, School of Public Health and School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA
Guitele Rahill, PhD, School of Social Work, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Manisha Joshi, PhD, School of Social Work, University of South Florida, Tampa FL, Tampa, FL
Alexis Hamilton, MSW Intern, School of Social Work, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Background: Disparities in maternal health remain between women in developing countries and their counterparts in the United States (US). In the US, women from cultures in which postpartum rituals are common may engage in practices that are hidden from their health providers, increasing the likelihood of adverse interactions between traditional practices and medicalized care. Method: We conducted systematic searches in PubMed, Web of Knowledge and relevant journals (Cultural and Medical Anthropology, Maternal Child Health), for English language articles published between 1980 and 2013, which focus on traditional practices/ rituals observed during the postpartum period. Results: Our search yielded 39 articles, (18 countries, six continents) that emphasize postpartum rituals. Postpartum rituals valued for their “antimicrobial and analgesic properties” included use of botanical oils, saunas, limited dietary practices; also valued were isolation/ seclusion, modified sexual behaviors, emotional support, and other practices and self-medication. Conclusion: Knowledge of the types of ingredients used in the teas and baths, around the globe, as well as the culturally endemic definition of the postpartum phase and its requisite needs can contribute to public health and other health professionals' cultural competence in working with particular groups. We recommend the use of Kleinman's Explanatory Model to further assess the meaning of postpartum practices to women from various countries so as to tease out the benefits and potential risks assumed from their emic perspective. Such knowledge in turn can inform their local practice with these groups and contribute to their overall health.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe and explore the cultural practices and beliefs surrounding postpartum rituals around the world. Identify possible effects of postpartum practices that may affect postpartum doctor visits. Formulate effective strategies to improve clinician awareness of postpartum practices in order to facilitate clinical intervention with women who undergo these rituals.

Keyword(s): Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have assisted in and presented on research that focuses on behavioral health disparities for ethnic and immigrant populations. I have worked on federally funded grants focusing on these populations. I have chaired conferences focused on improving access to care for ethnic and immigrant populations. In addition, my scientific interests have been focused on improving access to care for these populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.