Chinese primiparous women’s experiences of the traditional postnatal practice of Doing the month: A descriptive method study




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Peer reviewed



Aim: “Doing the month” has been a traditionally postnatal practice that women follow for one full month after giving birth. The aim of this study was to explore Chinese primiparous women’s experience of “Doing the month” and why Chinese women felt satisfied or dissatisfied with the experience. Methods: This was a descriptive survey using open and closed questions. In total, 420 Chinese primiparous women were recruited in obstetric wards at three hospitals in Xiamen City, China. Baseline questionnaires were distributed to the participants face-to-face by the researcher on the postnatal ward at 3 days’ postnatally. Follow-up questionnaires of “Doing the month” were sent via email by the researcher to the participants at 6 weeks’ postnatally and were returned by the participants via email. The quantitative data were analyzed with SPSS and the qualitative data were analyzed by using a thematic text analysis. Results: Most of the women thought that “Doing the month” after childbirth was necessary. Some women felt satisfied with “Doing the month” because their family helped them to have a good rest, they felt a sense of achievement when taking care of their baby, and that having an appreciative attitude helped them to get along with the older generations. In contrast, some women felt dissatisfied with “Doing the month” because of being tired of following taboos, having conflicts with their mother-in-law, the lack of family help and care, and undue expectations of “Doing the month.” Conclusions: In order to improve postnatal care for Chinese primiparous women, health professionals could be more aware of how health care needs to be customized to fit the special tradition of “Doing the month.”


open access article


attitude, China, Doing the month, primiparous women, satisfaction


Zheng, X., Watts, K. and Morrell, J. (2018) Chinese primiparous women’s experiences of the traditional postnatal practice of “Doing the month”: A descriptive method study. Japan Journal of Nursing Science.


Research Institute

Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care