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Korean J Women Health Nurs > Volume 7(3); 2001 > Article
Korean Journal of Women Health Nursing 2001;7(3):271-283.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4069/kjwhn.2001.7.3.271   
An Ethnographic Research Study on Childbearing Process of Mother with Children in Korea
Y H Kim
The childbearing process is a sociocultural phenomenon of a woman who gives birth to a child as well as a biological phenomenon. The purpose of this ethnographic research study was to explore the experience of childbearing process of mothers with children from pregnancy to the 3 months postpartum in Korea and to understand deeply the perspectives of childbearing women reflected on Korean sociocultural values. A convenient sample of 10 childbearing women were observed from January to October 2000 through field work in Seoul, Korea. Data analysis was accomplished under ongoing process. The results of this study were as follows : The mothers with children experienced self-reflection, family relation, and physical adaptation during pregnancy. In self-reflection, all mothers experienced universality and diversity in their self-discovering process. The universal experiences were maturation, life with family and priority on maternal value between being a mother and a woman. The diverse experiences were taking a dual role of working mother, emotional drift of a resigned mother, and disheartened life of a mother who has two daughters. In family relation, the foundation of the new marital relationship were attained during childbearing process and sexual life were changed for the benefit of a healthy mother and a healthy baby. All mothers established friendly relations with their mothers, but established friendly or conflicting or constraining relations with their mother-in-laws due to husband based family culture. In physical adaptation, the informants endured well the physical discomfort and recognized general appearance change. Also maternal-fetal interaction occurred and mothers realistically felt motherhood and accepted themselves as mother-to-be. The mothers prepared for the best delivery, look for a safe childbirth center, newborn goods, endorsed family coping during hospitalization and responded labor pain to make it more endurable, less painful, fast passed owing to labor recognition of the natural process to be a mother. After childbirth, they felt emancipation, satisfaction, accomplishment, more easiness, actually feeling as mother-to-be, emptiness, and showed response to the sex of newborn. Their Sanhujori practice was different according to the Sanhujori environment including provider, place, time in postpartum and reflected on Sanhubyung. The mothers felt actually mother-to-be and happiness during lactation regardless of feeding pattern. These mothers had a different maternal image about rearing subjecthood through their child-rearing experience. But all mothers felt need for family support and social support. The universal rearing response were actual feeling of mother-to-be, a strenuous experience, a pride on child-rearing, confusion, reflecting marital relationship, and wondering rivalry among children. In conclusion, mother of all with children went through self-discovery, self-reflection and made connections with the family as a mother and as a woman simultaneously during the childbearing process. Therefore it is suggested when harmony and balance between a mother and a woman is accomplished, the woman will lead a healthy and high quality of life. Also, this study sought to confirm the sociocultural factors affecting the childbearing process from the perspectives of the women with children. Therefore health care providers must understand deeply the childbearing women with children based on this finding of and try a integrative approach with new ideology of maternity with biocultural perspectives in a clinical setting.

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