Abstract

The fundamental life changes that affect health and general well being make childbirth and the transition to motherhood a complex process for all women as the attitudes towards childbirth are culturally dependent. Among Aboriginal populations, such as the Mi’kmaq, the childbirth experience (hav-ing a baby) may be complicated by cultural differences, particularly when Mi’kmaq women deliver their babies in settings outside their culture. Health care that reflects cultural accommodation of such differences in these settings may not be provided, and may not be viewed as essential. Health care profes-sionals often fail to understand the complexity of cultural differences and, as a result, may overlook their implications for health care outcomes (Salimbene 1999). Although there is a significant amount of literature on the concepts of culture and transcultural nursing, there is limited research that specific-ally explores childbirth experiences of Mi’kmaq women, particularly in rela-tion to their experiences giving birth in settings outside their own culture. A literature review provided the basis for a proposed qualitative study for the purpose of providing new knowledge about Mi’kmaq women’s childbirth ex-periences which occur in a large tertiary care centre outside their rural Nova Scotian community.

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