Date of Award

Summer 1997

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Brown, Ardene J.

Second Advisor

McManus, Patricia

Third Advisor

Malin, Shelly


The primary purpose of this study was to identify what postpartum African American women (this term will be used interchangeably with the term Black women) perceived about the health care and the care of their infants during hospitalization from European American nurses. The second purpose of this study was to determine whether African American women followed cultural and family folk-health care practices. The research question was: What are the perceptions of African American' women regarding postpartum and neonatal culturally relevant care when the nurse is of a different ethnicity from the childbearing women? The design used in this study was qualitative ethnographic. Data were collected using unstructured, open-ended interviews of five African American postpartum women from a convenience sample. Data, were analyzed with the following conclusions: 1. The women experienced hospital birthing, postpartum, and neonatal care that was culturally neutral. 2. Culturally relevant postpartum and neonatal health care practices were not incorporated into the hospitalization. 3. The women followed the hospital procedures while in the hospital. The cultural or family self-care practices they followed at home were not discussed with their European American nurses. Implications for practice and recommendations for research and education are included with this study.



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