Childbearing practices in Kanadier Mennonite Women

Thumbnail Image
Kulig, Judith Celene
Hall, Barry
Babcock, Ruth C. A.
Campbell, Robert
Wall, Margaret
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The Canadian Nurse
Cross-cultural nursing practices call for attention to be paid to the unique beliefs and practices of the groups with which nurses come in contact. The Kanadier Mennonites are a conservative religious group who live in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. An exploratory, descriptive study was conducted with this group in southern Alberta to generate information about their health and illness beliefs. This article focuses on their knowledge, beliefs and practices in relation to childbearing interviews were conducted with 45 women, the majority of whom were married and had been born in Mexico. Among the sample there had been a range of one to 16 pregnancies. The participants noted that childbearing Is not a topic openly discussed with others. Women learn about childbearing from their mothers and other women but also from physicians and books. During pregnancy there are particular activities to be avoided including the use of strong cleaning fluids and hand milking of cows. Foods such as milk need to be ingested to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal care was not emphasized in Mexico nor has it become a customary practice in Canada but deliveries in hospital are the norm in both these countries. During the postpartum the women receive support from their immediate and extended family in order to recuperate. Nurses need to explore individual Kanadier Mennonite beliefs regarding childbearing and work with this group in developing acceptable health promotion programs to help ensure healthy pregnancy outcomes. The blending of nursing practice knowledge in a non-intrusive manner with a group of people with differing belief systems is a necessary and achievable goal.
© Canadian Nurses Association. Reproduced with permission. Further reproduction is prohibited.
childbearing , Kanadier Mennonites , pregnancy
Kulig, J., Hall, B., Babcock, R., Campbell, R., & Wall, M. (2004). Childbearing practices in Kanadier Mennonite Women. Canadian Nurse. 100(8), 34-37.