Among the different rituals in an individual’s life, becoming a mother represents one of the most meaningful life events for a woman. The ritual of the transition to motherhood and birth constituted a set of events and phases that mark this very important event and acquire meanings and symbolic value. A ritual is a profound structure that expresses a state of mind; during childbirth, women experience many different types of emotions and psychological factors, such as fear, pain, and control play important roles. Rituals can support this critical phase by maintaining structure and the emotional individual and family well-being. Many cultures view this period as precarious for women, and specific traditional rituals are observed to ensure recovery and avoid ill health in later years. The interest in rituals is relevant because rituals belong to a culture and are modified according to the needs of its members. The complexity of rituals and the practices and meanings shared and transmitted from generation to generation acquire a very important role in the construction of the feelings of people. In the literature, some rituals emerge that are related to post-partum cultural practices, such as support, diet, rest period and restricted activities, hygiene and physical warmth practices, infant care and breast-feeding. In the present chapter, we explore the transition to motherhood in the context of migration through deep interviews with South American pregnant women who migrated to Italy. The women’s migration conditions could decrease the potential of transition moments to act as promoters and organizers of emotional life. In migration contexts, immigrant women may be powerless to understand the meaning of the rituals. Rituals can provide symbolic meaning to events and relationships and promote identity, relationships and a sense of belonging. Moreover, migration can have a strong influence on an individual’s culture because, in general, migration is a stressful event. Migration requires individuals to make a complex and dynamic cultural adaptation because contact with other cultures generates both continuity and change. The migration experience changes the ritual and the emotions linked to events. The study of traditional perinatal practices can help to develop culturally competent services.
|Titolo:||Transition to Motherhood Ritual: South American Women's Words in Italy|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02.01 - Contributo in volume (Capitolo o saggio)|