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Antenatal and Postnatal Maternity Care for Vietnamese Women

This chapter considers the encounters between health care providers and Vietnamese women in childbearing situations. " … what has gone before …" (the women's background) is first studied, followed by Vietnamese practices in these situations and implications for health care providers in Australia. Within the limits of safety, it is important that the worker encourage Vietnamese women to follow their own practices. This helps them to rebuild their sense of identity and resourcefulness which is partly or totally lost during the process of migration. The concept of cultural preservation, cultural adaptation (adapting one's culture to fit into a different environment) and cultural integration (integrating one's culture into another culture) can be used here to help the clients to retain their ways of living in Australia. Again, on both sides, a non-judgmental attitude is important in the process of learning each other's culture and to prevent the worker imposing their own values on the clients. In this way both the client and worker are walking together in the same direction to achieve the mutual goals of administering and receiving help without treading on each other's toes. When the goal is achieved, each traveller will continue to travel his or her own journey but each one will be the richer, as they have not only given and received a service but also experienced and learnt from each other's life story.

Contents include

  • The Vietnamese people
  • Vietnamese women in Australia
  • Practices in childbirth
  • Implications for health care provision
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Author / Editor Biographies

Ha Tran was born in Saigon, Vietnam. She came to Australia in 1974. After completing a Bachelor of Science, she went on to study nursing, specialising in midwifery, psychiatric nursing and hospice nursing. She has a Graduate Diploma in Cancer Nursing and a Bachelor of Education. Ha is currently working as a midwife at Western Hospital in Melbourne and doing her Master of Education. Her research interests are in the area of Vietnamese women and childbirth.

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