Perceived Stress and Support of the Chinese Postpartum Ritual “Doing the Month”

Sharron S. K. Leung*, David Arthur, Ida M. Martinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


"Doing the month" is the traditional ritual for Chinese postpartum women. A qualitative study involving in-depth interviews with 20 Hong Kong Chinese women was conducted to examine the women's perceptions of stress and support in "doing the month." Four central themes were identified as follows: bound by the environmental constraints, difficulties in following the proscriptions of the rituals, conflicts between the parties involved, and attainment of the maternal role. The study revealed that "doing the month" is not necessarily protective and supportive of the postpartum women. It raises the critical question of how women can adapt the ritual to fit modern life. The study findings suggest that midwives and health care providers should provide culturally appropriate advice for new mothers. Suggestions are given on bridging the gap between traditional and modern postpartum practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-224
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Care for Women International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Health Professions(all)


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