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Women Born in Asia: Their Obstetric Profiles - a Victorian Study

This chapter provides information on beliefs and practices of Cambodian women in relation to birthing and antenatal care and how these affect their lifestyle when living in a new country with a different health care system. It also aims to promote sensitivity and understanding among health care providers. Differences in cultural expectations and values between clients and service providers may have an effect on the utilisation of health care among clients as well as on the provision of health care among service providers. Because the beliefs, attitudes and practices of pregnant Khmer (Cambodian) women differ from those of clinical staff who provide them with prenatal care, it is necessary to appreciate, explore and document the cultural meanings and social relationships that shape the health care system. The information provided in this chapter is partly based on the author's personal experience as a Cambodian woman as well as on work experience in community health with Cambodians in Melbourne. Although the beliefs and practices of the women vary – depending on where they were brought up, on their educational level and on their age/generation – many of them share common experiences and knowledge that they receive from their parents and older relatives.

Contents include

  • Data, definitions and methodology
  • Results and interpretation
  • Characteristics of past obstetric history
  • Characteristic of most recent birth
  • Antenatal care and services
  • Discussion and implications for birthing services
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Author / Editor Biographies

Statistician (Centre for the study of Mothers' and Children's Health, Monash University)
Since 1982, Lyndsey Watson has worked in medical or public health research including a bowel cancer case-control study, AIDS epidemic predictions, nursing research and research associated with mothers' and children's health. At present she is the statistician at the Centre for the Study of Mothers' and Children's Health, Monash University.
Cultural - medical anthropologist
Dr Pranee Liamputtong is a medical anthropologist whose interests include the health of women, children, immigrants, refugees, older people, and transgender individuals. In terms of health issues, Pranee is very interested in issues relating to motherhood, reproductive health, sexuality, sexual health, and mental health. She has carried out a number of research projects with refugee and immigrant women in Australia and women in Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand. Recently, Pranee has focused her research on the sexuality and sexual health issues of Asian women and refugee/immigrant gro...
Judith Lumley was born in Britain and studied medicine at Cambridge University before coming to Australia and completing her medical degree and a PhD at Monash University. She is married with three children. Since 1991 Judith has been Director of the Centre for the Study of Mothers' and Children's Health at Monash University and a consultant epidemiologist with the Department of Health and Community Services.

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