Blog Post 3-Cultural Differences in Birth-Michael Cooper

Part 1:
After watching the videos I was truly amazed. It is astounding to think how fortunate people living in the United States are. Americans are able to decide rather to go to a hospital for child birth or have a home birth. They are also able to have professional in home healthcare if they so choose.In Vietnam cultural values are held to a high standard. When a child is born he or she is often born in the home, because of such deeply rooted traditions. Vietnamese Hmong women would often have midwives who would help them throughout their pregnancy. Compared to the United States, the average American would choose to go to a hospital to ensure that their child has the best healthcare possible. One comparison I can see where death in the United States and birth in other countries go hand in hand is the care a midwife must show in order to be successful. Midwives are used in many different cultures, but their purposes are usually all around the same. Midwives are specialists in pregnancy, they comfort and look after the mother and make sure she has a safe pregnancy. On the opposite end some midwives also assist in death. They assist individual(s) in their dying process. Culturally, and even through birth and death the job of the midwife remains the same. However on a negative side I can honestly say it is most likely much more stressful and changeling in a developing country to be a midwife. According to an article from the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the Netherlands, “women can safely choose where they want to give birth, provided the maternity care system is well equipped for home births”(de Jonge A, et al., 2009). This is the same in the United States, and I believe it should be this way everywhere. The article also goes on to say “maternity services in the Netherlands are set up to meet the demand for home births, transport is good, and distances short if emergency transfer to hospital is needed”(de Jonge A, et al., 2009). This told me that the many citizens of Netherland share smililar privileges Americans have, and are able to have safe childbirth. In the Inuit culture, home births are also highly preformed. One cultural difference between the Inuit and the United States, is during birth there is a tradition where,”the baby is usually given a Christian first name and the father’s Inuit surname”(Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada). This is very different from the United States where people can freely choose whatever name they want for their children after birth. Often times I believe the rights and privileges the United States grant Americans are taken for granted. For example in the short film “The Mountain Midwives of Vietnam” The midwife work hard labor everyday for seventeen dollars a month. This was unfathomable to me, because as an American I can admit I often complain over the minimum wage salary in the United States. This has really opened my eyes.

Part 2:

I chose this article, because it really hit close to home in a special way. It showed that a mothers love is undeniable and it also showed me miracles do happen. This mother sat never giving up hope in her child’s life, and believing that life is a miracle. The video applies to birth in America, because it shows that not all births go perfect in the United States just as things sometimes go wrong in other countries. Though America has a very good healthcare system, things sometimes go wrong. There are times where the only thing people can lean on is faith. Birth is something that is not easy, but with midwives and doctors the only thing the pregnant can do is have faith and trust their caregivers.

Work cited:

-Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada: “The Inuit Way: A guide to Inuit culture”

-de Jonge A, van der Goes B, Ravelli A, Amelink-Verburg M, Mol B, Nijhuis J, Gravenhorst J, Buitendijk S. Perinatal mortality and morbidity in a nationwide cohort of 529 688 low-risk planned home and hospital births. BJOG 2009 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2009.0217

One thought on “Blog Post 3-Cultural Differences in Birth-Michael Cooper

  1. PART ONE: I agree with everything you said here in part one. When I was completing this portion of the assignment I also found that the United States and the Netherlands have the same type of childbirth methods and rights. I found that Vietnam and the Inuit culture is extremely different than our ways here in the United States and even the Netherlands. I absolutely agree that we often take for granted the rights and privileges we are given in this country. We are unbelievably lucky to live in a free country. Also, the fact that a hard working midwife only made seventeen dollars a month also blew my mind as well. Like you, I often complain about minimum wage in the United States.

    PART TWO: I think in this section of the assignment you brought up a great point. Child birth, whether it be in the United States or in a different country, is a risk and a huge miracle. I agree that we all lean to a greater power whether it be in God or a caregiver; either a midwife or a doctor. The United States may allow mothers to make a more “free” decision; however, birth is the same in all countries. It is simply a miracle as things can definitely go wrong. I can totally agree that we all expect the best care and put all that trust in that caregiver. You can see in the picture how relieved the parents are.

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