Negotiating “Doing the month”: an ethnographic study examining the postnatal practices of two generations of Chinese women

Holroyd, Eleanor, Lopez, Violeta and Chan, Sally Wai-Chi (2011) Negotiating “Doing the month”: an ethnographic study examining the postnatal practices of two generations of Chinese women. Nursing and Health Sciences, 13 1: 47-52. doi:10.1111/j.1442-2018.2011.00575.x


Author Holroyd, Eleanor
Lopez, Violeta
Chan, Sally Wai-Chi
Title Negotiating “Doing the month”: an ethnographic study examining the postnatal practices of two generations of Chinese women
Journal name Nursing and Health Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1442-2018
1441-0745
Publication date 2011-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1442-2018.2011.00575.x
Open Access Status
Volume 13
Issue 1
Start page 47
End page 52
Total pages 6
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Abstract In Chinese society, the specific set of postnatal practices called “doing the month” constitutes an integrated set of postnatal behaviors that provides cultural and maternal protection and identity. This study examines the cultural practice of “doing the month” by Chinese mothers for two generations of matrilineal datasets. Ethnographic interviews were undertaken with new mothers and their mother and/or mother-in-law. Then, the coded data were compared within matrilineal dyads, as well as within age cohorts. The new mothers highlighted a range of attitudinal and behavioral practices that was informed and enforced by the female family members. They found highly individualized ways of negotiating traditional practices. In contrast, their mothers and mothers-in-law testified to a custom-bound approach. Support from family members appeared to be instrumental and was underscored by traditional notions of filial duty in the older generation of mothers. In comparison, their daughters and daughters-in-law indicated more autonomously directed behaviors. Recommendations are made in order to provide healthcare professionals with a more-informed understanding of Chinese postnatal belief systems.
Keyword Chinese women
Culture
“Doing the month”
Ethnography
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 01 Oct 2014, 14:19:29 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work