Childbirth: a Momentous Occasion Muslim Women's Childbirth Experiences
This thesis explores the perception of three Muslim women’s experience of childbirth, in a setting surrounded by health professionals who largely have little understanding of their needs and experience of being in the world. The women’s stories reveal that giving birth in a cross-cultural setting is stressful. The women had to adjust to an environment which challenged their beliefs and values, in one case with no extended family or cultural support. This stress is long lasting as evidenced in the women’s stories. Various forms of narrative such as a letter, excerpts from conversations, and interviews, have been used in presenting this research, in order to illuminate Muslim women’s birthing experiences particularly to health colleagues in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Given the opportunity to tell their story, all the women highlighted both the positive and negative aspects of their birth experiences. Excerpts from the narratives of Khadija, Ayesha, and Amina, describe the reality of their experiences. The overarching theme in this thesis reveals the uniqueness of each woman’s story. This thesis identifies situations that heightened the vulnerability of the women. It concludes by identifying recommendations and reading material for nurses and midwives in education or practice to become informed, so that 20,000 Muslims in Aotearoa-New Zealand may receive an acceptable level of culturally safe practice.