An exploratory study of traditional birthing practices of Chinese, Malay and Indian women in Singapore

Eliana Naser, Sandra Mackey, David Arthur, Piyanee Klainin-Yobas, Helen Chen, Debra K. Creedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: to explore the traditional birthing practices of Singaporean women. Research design: a qualitative study using a phenomenological approach. Data were collected using individual interviews, which were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Colaizzi's phenomenological method was used to analyse the data. Setting: obstetric outpatient clinics in a tertiary hospital in Singapore. Participants: a purposive sample of 30 women, 1-3 months postpartum. Findings: two broad themes emerged-following tradition and challenging tradition. Key conclusions: Singaporean women experiencing pregnancy and childbirth follow tradition through the influence of their mother and mother-in-law and because of worry over consequences that may result if they do not. Tradition is also challenged through the modification or rejection of traditional practices and changing family roles and expectations. Implications: health professionals need to provide accurate information on traditional birthing practices and scientific evidence to support or refute such practices with the aim of preventing women from adhering to practices that are hazardous to them and the baby.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e865-e871
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Childbirth practices
  • Cultural traditions
  • Phenomenology
  • Singapore


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