The Lived Experience of Childbirth Among 21st Century Cuban Women in a Florida Hospital
The Lived Experience of Childbirth among 21st Century Cuban Women In a Florida HospitalJane E. Cox Ph.D.Director: Dr. Patricia McMullen Ph.D., J.D., C.N.S., C.R.N.P. Associate ProfessorAbstractThe most common reason for women of childbearing age to access healthcare is for assistance with childbirth. Cultural diversity is increasingly common in the U.S. and the group of people with Hispanic heritage is growing most rapidly. Cubans are the second largest group of Hispanic people and may have cultural beliefs that influence health that have not been uncovered. The purpose of the study was to examine and describe the lived experience of childbirth among a group of Cuban women. Descriptive phenomenological methods were utilized to interview 29 Cuban women who had recently given birth. Two open-ended research questions guided the study: What is the experience of childbirth among 21st Century Cuban women in a Florida hospital? What is the influence of Cuban beliefs and culture on the experience of childbirth among Cuban women in a Florida hospital? Demographic data and semi-structured interviews were transcribed using Colaizzi's method of analysis. The findings reflected three main clusters of themes: Preparing for birth that described anticipating the birth, working and experiencing emotions. Birthing that described laboring, feeling pain and supporting the birth. Integrating that described going home and adhering to customs and traditions. The cluster of themes, Preparing, is demonstrated by a participant speaking about her husband when she stated, "He's got a scholarship over there, so he's back there right now." The cluster themes, Birthing is demonstrated by participants who said, " Around 5 am I start to have pain. Small, little pain like my period. Something like that. OK. I told that to the nurse. They let my husband cut the umbilical cord and that was beautiful! My husband would go like this (gesturing) you know, it gives you a tremendous impression." The cluster of themes, Integrating, is demonstrated by a participant who stated, "I am breastfeeding so I will keep him near me in my room. Well, my mother breastfed us that way and my mom and my sisters told me that it was better for the baby." Culturally competent interventions are necessary to reduce health care disparities and improve the quality of the birthing experience for modern families.
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