In all cultures and society the birth of child is a wonderful life changing event. Often there are traditions and customs associated with events such as birth, marriage, and even death. In the Hmong and Inuit populations childbirth is a social event that involves much of the community. In these communities culture and traditions are followed to celebrate the arrival of a new life. For example, the Hmong buried the placenta of their child under the house if it was a boy to signify the male as the main strength of the household. This centuries old process has now become replaced with a medicalized approach. Today placentas are generally incinerated or sent away to a lab for testing. The Inuit birthing culture is also very community centered. An example of this is when Inuit newborns are surrounded by family and friends soon after birth. This tradition has been broken with the medicalization of Inuit childbirth and the lack of midwives in the north. The biomedical approach of Canadian doctors has forced Inuit women to ditch their traditions and customs for something unfamiliar and strange. There are plenty of ramifications as a result of rapid medicalization some of them include an increase in violence, abuse, and drinking. These traditional close-knit communities are greatly affected by these seemingly small changes. Doctors need to understand that while their biomedical methods are often safer and scientifically proven, they must be adjusted in order to accommodate the traditions of the population being served. Even with the Heiltsuk Aboriginal tribe of British Columbia, birthing children surrounded by the community is immensely important. There are rituals such as a potlatch and a naming ceremony in which the whole community is involved. When babies are born elsewhere there is a disconnect with the community as it forfeited the traditions (Lana 2004). No matter the community it is shown to be important that culture is followed, here in American we make our own traditions as well. For example here in the US, physicians and biomedicine are much more favorable than midwives, and natural birth practices such as lamaze. Here we value biomedicine and put it first rather than resorting to holistic approaches. We view midwives as outdated, unsafe, and even uneducated and their methods as unreliable. As a country our doctors must really learn to incorporate the traditions and cultures of patients, with the biomedicine in order to maintain a healthy outcome in traditional communities.
Lana, D. “Lana, D. (2014). STRONG WOMEN, STRONG NATIONS: Aboriginal Maternal Health … Retrieved July 28, 2016, from Http://www.nccah-ccnsa.ca/Publications/Lists/Publications/Attachments/129/2014_07_09_FS_2421_MaternalHealth_EN_Web.pdf.” Accessed July 28, 2016.