This chapter on the cultural dimensions of pregnancy, birth and post-natal care has been produced for Queensland Health by Victoria Team, Katie Vasey and Lenore Manderson, Social Science and Health Research Unit, School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University. It derives from research conducted to identify factors among people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds which may affect their use of antenatal services, their care during pregnancy, labour and birth, and postnatal care. Culture plays a major role in the way a woman perceives and prepares for her birthing experience. Each culture has its own values, beliefs and practices related to pregnancy and birth. Many women who come to Australia have a pragmatic attitude to traditional practices, and may not be interested in following them here. However, other women may consider it important to adhere to traditional pregnancy and birth practices. If health care providers are familiar with different ideas, rituals and behavioural restrictions and proscriptions, and communicate with the women for whom they care, then women from CALD backgrounds will have a choice. Health care providers are not expected to know about the cultural practices of all the communities living in Queensland. They are however, expected to use open communication, knowledge and respect when interacting with all clients.
|Commissioning body||Queensland Health|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|