In India, practices relating to pregnancy, childbirth and child development have been rooted in cultural beliefs and traditions that are based on knowledge contained in ancient Indian texts. Many Indians residing across the globe continue to observe these practices. Some may find it challenging to do so when they are residing abroad, away from familiar surroundings and separated from their extended families. A small body of research exists that shows that migrant Indian women do observe traditional maternal practices based on cultural beliefs, but there is a need to learn more about how this knowledge is acquired, disseminated and preserved. This qualitative case study examines how immigrant women from India in the United States (US) acquire knowledge about and observe traditional maternal practices. Interviews and participant observation indicate that the women in this study adroitly mixed many traditional practices with the medical model of care provided in the US, and importantly, most of them followed these practices more as a deference to the norms laid out by their elders. The goal of traditional practices appeared to be to ensure birth of healthy infants.
Cultural Beliefs, Immigrant, Indian Women, Pregnancy, Child Birth, Traditional, Maternity Practices, Case Study
The authors would like to thank Mrs. Elanah Barrow for her research assistance and Dr. Barry Kanpol, Professor, Educational Studies, IPFW for his support.
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Recommended APA Citation
Cousik, R., & Hickey, M. (2016). Pregnancy and Childbirth Practices among Immigrant Women from India: “Have a Healthy Baby”. The Qualitative Report, 21(4), 727-743. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol21/iss4/9
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