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The Postpartum Period And Myanmar Women

2018 words - 8 pages

The postpartum period, which starts about an hour after the delivery of the placenta and the following six weeks, is a critical time for a woman (WHO, 1998). Though the first hours, days and weeks after childbirth are hazardous for both mother and newborn, inadequate postpartum care was widespread all over the world (WHO, 2010). In Myanmar, approximately 1.3 million women give birth each year. Maternal mortality ratio (MMR) per 1000 live births in the country is 3.16 in 2004-2005, 1.4 in urban and 3.63 in rural areas (Ministry of Health, 2009a, Ministry of Health and UNICEF, 2006). Myanmar is one of the four countries with high MMR in UNFPA South and South-East Asia region (Ministry of Health, 2009b). According to nationwide cause specific maternal mortality survey (2004-2005), postpartum haemorrhage is a leading cause of maternal death (30.98%). Maternal mortality due to puerperal sepsis was 7.04% (Ministry of Health and UNICEF, 2006). These can be reduced by proper postnatal care with adequate considerations of cultural beliefs and practices during postpartum. Postpartum beliefs and practices may be neutral, beneficial and harmful effects and these may act as barriers for receiving professional guidance. {Myanmar postpartum beliefs and Practices} One of the components of Reproductive Health Policy (2002) in Myanmar is identification of effective socio-cultural practices beneficial for reproductive health (Department of Health, Myanmar 2004). Many international studies highlighted traditional postpartum beliefs and practices (Lee, R.V. et al 1988, Steinberg 1996, Liu et al. 2006, Craig, 2009, Harvey and Buckley 2009). However, there have been a handful of documents on postpartum beliefs and practices in Myanmar. This study attempts to explore the traditional beliefs and practices surrounding postpartum period. The results would give inputs for policy makers, program managers and health service providers to provide culturally sensitive health care interventions.

This study intends to identify postpartum beliefs and practices of women in the study area.

The data analyzed in this paper is a part of a larger study which explore perceptions and practices of reproductive health issues among ever married female youths (15-24 years). Data collection was conducted between January and May 2009 in Kyimyindaing Township in the western district of Yangon. The township was purposely selected because it has both urban and rural settings and a youth reproductive health project has not yet been launched.
Background information of the study area: The township area is about 2.16 square-miles and 1382.4 acres. It consists of 22 wards, 4 village tracts and 11 villages. It has a population of 90,941 (Ministry of Health, 2007). Urban and rural areas of the township were located on each side of the Hlaing River. Sampans or small boats are the primary means of transportation between rural and urban areas.
Data collection: As...

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