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Prevalence of Traditional Asian Postpartum Practices at a Federally Qualified Health Center


To evaluate the knowledge of, participation in, attitudes towards, and experiences with "doing the month" (DTM), a traditional Chinese and Vietnamese postpartum practice, at a federally qualified health center that serves predominantly Asian immigrants. DTM practices revolve around the balance between yin and yang and include practices such as the mother remaining on bed rest for as long as possible, restricting diet to certain foods, and avoiding visitors and social activities. A cross-sectional survey in Chinese, Vietnamese, and English was developed to determine the prevalence of women who have heard of and participated in DTM. 154 respondents participated. The mean age of respondents was 40.1 years. Without prompting of what DTM was, 58 (37.7%) responded that they had heard of DTM. After an explanatory paragraph, this increased to 117 (76.6%) participants. Out of 107 patients who have children, 65 (60.7%) "did the month" after giving birth. Participation rates were highest for women who identified as Chinese or Vietnamese. Likert-type scale questions showed that respondents believed DTM was stressful but enjoyable and helpful for recovery from childbirth. In conclusion, DTM is a common practice that health providers should be aware of.

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