Emotional Aspects of Pregnancy and Childbirth

  • David Kliot


In all known human societies, there are recognizable patterns of behavior specifically related to the birth of a child. Cultural beliefs and traditions create and shape these patterns of behavior, and although the importance of childbirth is evident in all cultures, there is wide variation in approach to childbirth. Some cultures regard childbirth as a normal, natural, physiological process and a joyful part of ordinary everyday life. For example, DuBois (1944), observing the women of Alor, comments: “One gathers the impression that birth is considered an easy and casual procedure. This does not mean that difficulties never occur, but it does indicate that this society has not emphasized such difficulties.” Likewise, the Jarava women of South America give birth in a passageway or shelter in full view of everyone, even small children. Among the Navajo Indians (Southwest United States), birth was seen as a social event and moral support from anyone was welcomed.


Emotional Aspect Home Birth Expectant Mother Birth Experience Maternal Anxiety 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Kliot
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State University of New York Health Science Center at BrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Methodist HospitalUSA

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