Women's ways of knowing about childbirth in East Java, Indonesia: a case study

Mazdafiah, Siti (2004) Women's ways of knowing about childbirth in East Java, Indonesia: a case study. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Not many women realise that what they learn from the practical day-to-day knowledge of childbirth also contains their society's ideology and beliefs, which later have a wider impact on them in giving meaning to their experience of childbirth, and the way they see themselves as women. In a traditional society such as Indonesia, women have both traditional and modem knowledge. Both categories of knowledge can give women choices about how they want to shape their childbirth experience. -- In this thesis, we will learn about six Indonesian women's experiences of first childbirth that are widely influenced by their socio-cultural circumstances as well as by their religion, Islam. The experiences of these women include their desire to have children, their feelings throughout the pregnancy, their plans for the birth and their choice of professionals who are going to help them throughout the pregnancy. Throughout pregnancy, these women were also acutely aware of the traditional beliefs and customs about pregnancy, as well as their own feelings and experience about labour. Through a case study method, this study also covers the influence of other people (husband, family and friends) in pregnancy and traces the nature of the knowledge that they transfer to these women. Within the competing sources of knowledge that is given to them, these women learn and build up their understanding about their pregnancy as well as how they see themselves in their new positions as mothers. In this study, we will be able to learn that the meaning of pregnancy varies among women. It can be oppressive, challenging, and liberating or even a combination of these. I provide my account of their experiences based on feminist theory that agrees that it is not women's biological capacity as reproducers that makes childbirth oppressive to women but the socio-cultural situation that has conditioned them to oppression. -- By acknowledging what these women have learned and that impact of that knowledge on them, society will be able to create a better situation for women that will enable them to learn about childbirth in ways that will help them to make informed choices and to mature as a result of the experience.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11000
Item ID: 11000
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 203-211.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Gender Studies
Date: 2004
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Childbirth--Social aspects--Indonesia; Childbirth--Indonesia--Psychologial aspects.

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