Online Program

Doing the month and Asian cultures: Implications for health care

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Wei-Chen Tung, PhD, RN, Orvis School of Nursing, University of Nevada- Reno, Reno, NV
Background: Doing the month is a general term to describe traditional beliefs, rituals, and practices in relation to how a postpartum woman should behave immediately after childbirth and continues for a month. It is not clear whether the traditional practices are beneficial for women's health or well-being.

Purpose: to describe the postpartum ritual of doing the month and implications for health care.

Significance: Better understanding of the different cultural beliefs and practices can help health professionals provide culturally sensitive care to meet postpartum women's physical and psychological needs, as well as avoiding unnecessary conflicts.

Methodology: literature review.

Findings: The rational underlying doing the month is originated from the traditional Chinese medicine in theories of the somatic balance of Yin and Yang. Women are expected to rest a lot and remain confined to their homes for one month to ensure recovery from pregnancy induced imbalance and prevent future illness. The postpartum women should refrain from eating Yin foods, such as fruits, cold water, ice cream, and salad. Washing hair and bathing, and brushing teeth are prohibited to avoid the invasion of humidity and wind.

Conclusions: With the globalization, health professionals have many opportunities caring for clients from diverse backgrounds. To offer better quality care and promote understanding of the beliefs and needs of postpartum women, education curricula should include the concept of traditional postpartum customs. While remaining sensitive to the needs of cultural beliefs and practices, health professionals are obligated to provide accurate medical information to achieve client's optimal health.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Describe the postpartum beliefs and practices of doing the month. Discuss the implications of doing the month for health care.

Keyword(s): International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct international public health nursing research.
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.