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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Experiences of Chinese immigrant women following zuo yue zi in the lower mainland of British Columbia Chang, Sylvia Hsi-Ching


There are increasing numbers of women emigrating from China and Taiwan who chose to follow Chinese traditional post-partum practices which refers to “zuo yue zi”in the lower mainland of British Columbia. However, there are insufficient Canadian studies and a paucity of qualitative studies explicitly exploring women’s experiences with zuo yue zi. I used a qualitative description design to obtain narrative data on the perspectives of experiences with zuo yue zi from 13 mothers residing in the Greater Vancouver region. The development of the core theme, Chinese women’s novel encounters with zuo yue zi, incorporated women’s expectations of zuo yue zi, their struggles with the practices, and the modifications of their expectations. The Chinese women followed some traditional practices and modified others depending on their level of comfort with potential health effects and support from family and paid helpers. They needed to consider their own and their infants’ wellbeing, considerations for family members, their previous experiences, and structural limitations in their new environments. Based on the study findings, I suggest nursing implications for clinical practice, education and research starting in the prenatal period and into the postnatal period. I also make recommendations in terms of supporting new immigrant mothers who wish to follow traditional practices and addressing regulatory guidelines to protect their newborns from unregulated paid care providers in their new adopted homeland.

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