Halperin, Ofra, Orly Sarid, and Julie Cwikel. “The Influence of Childbirth Experiences on Women׳s Postpartum Traumatic Stress Symptoms: A Comparison between Israeli Jewish and Arab Women.” Midwifery 31.6 (2015): 625-32.
childbirth is a positive experience for most women yet some women express distress after birth. Traumatic experience can sometimes cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in relation to childbirth. Prevalence of traumatic birth experience and PTSD after childbirth differs between cultures.
to examine the subjective recall of childbirth experiences and PTSD symptoms of Israeli Jewish and Arab women; to examine comparatively the prevalence of PTSD symptoms six to eight weeks after childbirth and to establish the factors that predict PTSD symptoms.
a prospective study was conducted in a region characterised by wide variations in ethnocultural groups. The study was comprised of two time points: Time 1 (T1) interviews were conducted at the bedside of the women in the maternity ward of each hospital 24–48 hours after childbirth. Time 2 (T2), all 171 women participating in T1 were interviewed by phone six to eight weeks after childbirth.
34 women (19.9%) reported their labour as traumatic 24–48 hours after birth (T1), and six to eight weeks later (T2) 67 women (39.2%) assessed their experience as traumatic. More Arab women (69.6%) than Jewish women (56.5%) had a positive memory of childbirth, but this difference only approached statistical significance (p=.09). Results showed rather low frequencies of PTSD symptoms, and no ethnic difference. PTSD symptoms were significantly and positively predicted by subjective recollection of childbirth experience (Time 2). PTSD symptoms were higher for women who did not have a vaginal birth, and more women with PTSD symptoms were not breast feeding.
we found more similarities than differences between Arab and Jewish women׳s experience of their births and no differences between them on the prevalence of PTSD symptoms after birth. The results suggest that non-vaginal birth (instrumental or caesarean section) and negative recollection of the childbirth experience are important factors related to the development of PTSD symptoms after birth, and that women with PTSD symptoms are less likely to breast feed.
Shloim, N., S, Hugh-Jones, M.C.J Rudolf, R.G. Feltbower, O. Loans, and M. M. Hetherington. “‘It’s like giving him a piece of me’: Exploring UK and Israeli Women’s Accounts of Motherhood and Feeding.” Appetite 95 (2015): 58-66.
The present study explored how Israeli and UK mothers integrate feeding into their conceptualisations of mothering 2–6 months post-partum.
The nature and importance of motherhood is subject to differential contextual, cultural, political and historical influences. We set out to compare experiences of motherhood and feeding between these two countries using a qualitative approach.
Forty one women (mean age 36.4 ± 2.7 years) from Israel and the UK, mostly married or in a committed relationship were interviewed about their experience of pregnancy, motherhood and feeding. Data were analysed thematically.
The experience of motherhood in the early postnatal period was dominated, for all mothers, by the experience of breastfeeding and clustered around three representations of mothering, namely; 1) a devoted mother who ignores her own needs; 2) a mother who is available for her infant but acknowledges her needs as well; and 3) a struggling mother for whom motherhood is a burden. Such representations existed within both cultural groups and sometimes coexisted within the same mothers. UK women described more struggles within motherhood whereas a tendency towards idealising motherhood was observed for Israeli women.
There are similarities in the ways that UK and Israeli women experienced motherhood and feeding. Where family life is strongly emphasized, mothers reported extremes of idealism and burden and associated an “ideal” mother with a breastfeeding mother. Where motherhood is represented as just one of many roles women take up, they are more likely to represent a “good enough” approach to mothering. Understanding the experience of motherhood and feeding in different cultural settings is important to provide the context for postnatal care specifically where mothers are reluctant to share problems or difficulties encountered.