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Whisper of the Mother: From Menarche to Menopause Among Women in Pohnpei
by:Maureen H. Fitzgerald
Despite considerable worldwide attention to maternal and child health, for many societies there is little information about the traditional beliefs, practices, and experiences associated with women's reproductive lives. This study is an ethnography of menarche, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, and menopause in one Pacific Island...
Despite considerable worldwide attention to maternal and child health, for many societies there is little information about the traditional beliefs, practices, and experiences associated with women's reproductive lives. This study is an ethnography of menarche, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, and menopause in one Pacific Island society experiencing significant culture change. The beliefs and practices that surround these uniquely female experiences in this community are explored by combining historic and contemporary data from the Micronesian community of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Interviews with women aged 20 to 74 are included.The study examines how women's experiences are situated in a society that is rapidly being exposed to alternative models and ideas. In exploring the issues, it highlights community concerns about women's lives, their health and that of their community, and the impact cultural change has had on many aspects of contemporary health, including traditional beliefs and practices. This information forms the basis for understanding women's experiences and the impact of culture change that can allow us to address some of the health, social, and cultural needs of women and their communities.
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