Traditional postpartum practices play an important role for maternal health. However, few studies have focused on the recognition and implementation of traditional practices of immigrant minorities. We conducted a semi-structured interview with 10 Laotian women aged 35-58 who grew up in Laos and are now living in Japan. Survey period was from April to May 2016.
The interview consists of six Laotian traditional postpartum practices (yu fai, kin nam hon, ap nam hon, hom ya, kalam kin, and bahsee seu khwan) based on the previous studies on pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum traditional practices in Laos. The answers were qualitatively and descriptively analyzed for the recognition and implementation of traditional postpartum practices in Japan.
The results showed that all interviewees recognized the six practices as important traditional customs, though some were simplified or implemented with substitute items. On the other hand, some did not implement them due to influential factors such as structure of house or family members in Japan or advice from medical staff, etc.
In conclusion, Laotian women are intending to keep the traditional postpartum practices in Japan. The study will provide important information to maternal care for immigrant minorities in Japan.