Medicalization

As we’ve learned throughout this class, every culture experiences the journey of life and their health in different ways. America is known to be very “medicalized” and modern in their approach to science and medicine; where as older cultures may take a holistic approach, or no approach at all and let a spiritual being decided their fate. There are pros and cons to both approaches; it just depends on the situation. In childbirth, this is the first opportunity for parents to act on their beliefs for what they think is best for the child. In the American culture, it’s very common to deliver your baby in a hospital with a few nurses and a doctor there to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. This is something I agree is the best way to approach it, and it’s probably because I’m not strong in a certain faith and I know that I personally couldn’t do anything to help save my child’s life if there were complications during child birth.

The Inuit culture in northern Canada goes back over 9,000 years and it’s very centered around the care of women and children, and respecting their equality and health. Slowly but surely adapting to the modern culture, the Inuit culture has loosened up on their cultural rules. However this culture has tried to stay true to their beliefs by living independently from the rest of the world, and that includes having their children in their reserve, just like they did from many years ago. Many traditions and superstitions arise when someone becomes pregnant in the tribe. According to Dan Ketchum in Inuit Pregnancy & Conception Beliefs, women aren’t supposed to wear braids because they believe it could lead to choking the baby with the umbilical cord. They also engage in daily dancing performances as a regime. When they have the baby, there is a midwife there to help them deliver in a separate hut. In their culture, they are supposed to deliver the baby without making a noise and no pain medication, but obviously overtime these traditions have been bent.

In the Hmong culture is similar to Inuit’s in that they’re both very “regular when it comes to birthing children. They have old traditions that they’ve stuck to for many years, so they would not enjoy going to a hospital to have a baby, like most Americans would, because they would feel out of place and uncomfortable. The Hmong culture is very centered around the experience between the mother and the child, from the very beginning. This is common in every mother having a baby but it’s different because when they give birth, it’s just the mother which is so different than here. I would want my husband by my side for it all to experience that event together. This is just an example of how the Hmong mothers would feel uncomfortable in Hospitals.

Overall, everyone is going to have their traditions and opinions, especially when it comes to babies- it’s just in our human nature. We just have to remember that we all have one thing in common, and that is that we all want our babies to be happy and healthy, and if people have different ways of going about it, then we have to respect different cultures.

Ketchum, Dan. “Inuit Pregnancy & Conception Beliefs | The Classroom | Synonym.” Inuit Pregnancy & Conception Beliefs | The Classroom | Synonym. Accessed July 29, 2016. http://classroom.synonym.com/inuit-pregnancy-conception-beliefs-11481.html.

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