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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


MEDINA I, Armando  and  MAYCA P, Julio. Creencias y costumbres relacionadas con el embarazo, parto y puerperio en comunidades nativas Awajun y Wampis. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2006, vol.23, n.1, pp.22-32. ISSN 1726-4634.

Objective: Our country, due to its cultural richness, has many different conceptions with respect to pregnancy, delivery, and puerperium. Customs and occurrences during pregnancy, delivery and puerperium in Awajun (aguaruna) or Wampis (Huambisa) native women are reviewed in this study. Materials and methods: Ethnographic, descriptive, and qualitative study performed from October 2002 to April 2003. 24 in-depth interviews were carried out in midwives, healthcare promoters, and clients in Puerto Galilea and Chapiza communities, three focal groups were also assessed. The aforementioned interviews were analyzed taking into account five aspects related with signals, dangers, diet, and care to be taken during pregnancy, delivery, and puerperium. Results: People recognize some danger signals during pregnancy, such as vaginal bleeding and amniotic fluid loss. Care to be taken during pregnancy is related to daily activities and diets to be followed. There are some elements that pose difficulties for pregnancy and delivery, such as being ashamed to call a healthcare promoter. Once delivery occurs, care must be taken so that the mother recovers and the newborn has adequate development. Conclusions: Conceptions and perceptions with respect to pregnancy, delivery, and puerperium in native communities regulate people’s behavior, and this influences both mother and child health. It is necessary to understand this culture and to train health promoters with appropriate knowledge of traditional medicine, implementing health promotion and pregnant women health care strategies, strengthening institutional capacities and increasing health care coverage.

Keywords : Ethnic groups; Natural childbirth; Cultural diversity; Qualitative research; Peru.

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