Essay about The Spirit Catches You and You Call Down

4623 Words Oct 27th, 2013 19 Pages
Assignment 1
1. What do you think of traditional Hmong birth practices (pp. 3-5)? Compare them to the techniques used when Lia was born (p. 7). How do Hmong and American birth practices differ?

I find the traditional birth practices peculiar and very unsafe. The conceiving of a child should be done in a sterile environment by professionals, so that the risks of negative effects like infections, wounds, etc. is minimized. Nevertheless I think the tradition, that the placenta is buried by the father, so that the soul can return to it’s first jacket, in order to continue it’s after death journey, is a wonderful way of believing what comes after death.
Professional doctors handled Lia’s birth the American way, with her mother
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75). Why do you think the doctors felt such great stress?

The traditions and code of conducts that the Hmong felt obligated to follow made it very difficult for the MCMC staff to treat them medically. For example the women made the least possible noise when in labor, so that the doctors and nurses couldn’t tell when the baby was coming. This created a very tense and nervous atmosphere around the medical staff. They would never show their disrespect directly in front of the doctors, hence the Hmong patients were passively obedient and eager to protect not only their doctors but also their own dignity while still being in the hospital. As soon as they got out they chose to ignore everything to which they had just been advised to including taking their medicaments as needed. The physicians felt like their hands were being tied and they were not able to provide the same standard of care they were accustomed to providing as the wished of their Hmong patients often conflicted with the standards. Especially when the life of a fetus was in jeopardy, due to the irresponsible behaviour of the Hmong. This resulted in a lot of internal conflict as they found themselves often in unbelievably terrible situations. The worst thing about it, is that, unlike a pregnant mother who smokes and drinks, the Hmong simply didn’t know that they were doing something bad. The doctors and nurses at MCMC simply didn’t understand how the Hmong could

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