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Bates College

Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2014

Program Name

Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples


The way that women approach pregnancy and childbirth in rural Nepal has seen an amazing change in the past twenty to thirty years. The medicalization of this entire process, from pre-­‐ to post-­‐natal care, comes with government efforts for the increased education of women about family planning, nutrition, hygiene, and the proposed benefits of institutional versus in-­‐home delivery. In 9 villages of Lower Mustang, interviews conducted with Government Health Post workers, Female Health Volunteers, and women of different ages sought to discern personal experience and opinion about pregnancy and childbirth from the perspective of both local women and those with medical training. Today in Mustang, almost all deliveries take place with the help of trained professionals in some type of medical institution, while the elder generation sees weakness in the inability of younger women to deal with the pain in the same way they did for multiple in-­‐home deliveries. Additionally, interviews included questions to gain basic knowledge about the general work of Mustangi Health Posts, in order to better understand their equipment and capability for dealing with patients. This study looks at accessibility of health care, opinions on delivery location, government involvement and incentive in the pregnancy process, and mothers’ personal anecdotes regarding their own experiences and the changes they have witnessed in maternal and infant health through time in Mustang.


Asian Studies | Health Services Research | Maternal and Child Health | Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Women's Health


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