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Culture and childbirth, Meaning of childbirth, Russian Federation



  1. Callister, Lynn Clark PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Getmanenko, Natalia PhD
  3. Garvrish, Natalia MD
  4. Eugenevna, Marakova Olga RN
  5. Vladimirova, Zotina Nataliya RN
  6. Lassetter, Jane MSN, RN
  7. Turkina, Natalia MD


Purpose: To gain an understanding of the meaning of childbirth to women living in St. Petersburg, the Russian Federation.


Study Design and Method: Twenty-four Russian women who had given birth in the past 6 months participated in this phenomenological study and were interviewed and audio-taped about the meaning of childbirth. Data collection and analysis occurred concurrently.


Results: The Russian sociocultural context of childbirth was identified in specific themes: (1) adhering to cultural traditions, (2) accessing information, (3) maintaining a healthy lifestyle, (4) articulating the spiritual and emotional meaning of giving birth, and (5) transforming as a mother and a person. Study participants reported reading extensively during pregnancy as well as accessing Web-based information about childbirth. Women chose to give their newborns traditional Slavic names and have their infants christened.


Clinical Implications: The findings of qualitative studies can be used to guide clinical practice, because they provide rich data about essential life events and reactions associated with them. Women from Russia are emigrating to countries all over the world, and thus, their cultural views of childbirth are essential knowledge for the provision of appropriate nursing care. With dramatic socioeconomic and political changes occurring over the past 15 years, along with major changes in healthcare delivery systems, listening to the voices of Russian childbearing women giving birth is vital information for nurses working in maternal-child health settings.