Matriarchal Methods.

Posted: October 21, 2012 in pOstEd WeEkLY

In a country that is mainly matriarchal it is highly evident among prenatal care and postnatal care that the life style and choices of the mother are completely indicative of the survival of the infant or child.

The Philippines is not well known for offering above the standard prenatal care to women, however, through the prevalence of information and methods of awareness the Philippines is experiencing higher survival risks among women and their infants. Problems mainly surround regular prenatal visits to licensed practitioners and hemorrhaging during the birthing process as a result of iron deficiencies and poor birthing care in the absence of a nurse or doctor.

Check out: Prenatal Care and Women’s Health in the Philippines.

Hannah Landecker’s piece on Nutritional Epigenetics contained a section on prenatal care which brought me to further my thoughts in relation to prenatal care in the Philippines. Without much research which is not really necessary to make a broad generalization is that poor lifestyle stems poor diet, which often results in deficiencies and poses great concern among the health of both mother and fetus.

Landecker states:

“Given the social and cultural importance of food and eating and the fraught nature of contemporary parenting when it comes to feeding children, the unfolding generation of these specific links between nutrition and health calls for our continued critical attention.”

Furthering Landecker’s statement we can also attribute social and cultural importance of diet, more so of the lacking in nutritious components of diet, to employment and unemployment. There is a clear distinction in the prenatal care sought out by women employed in the Philippines in comparison to those who are not employed, as well as a distinction between classes of employment such as blue and white collar.

In a study conducted by R. Miles-Doan and KL Brewster from the Center for the Study of Population based in Florida State University of Tallahassee:

“The largest percentage of women who had early prenatal care were white collar workers (WCWs) and professionals (57%), followed by blue collar, service, and self-employed workers (22%), and non-wage workers (23%). The smallest percentage of women obtaining prenatal care were pieceworkers (15%).”

Landecker, Hannah. 2010 “Food as Exposure: Nutritional Epigenetics and the Molecular Politics of Eating.” CSW Update Newsletter. UCLA Center for the Study of Women

Additional Reading on epigeneticsKuzawa, CW and E Sweet. 2009. “ Epigenetics and the embodiment of race: developmental origins of US racial disparities in cardiovascular health.” Am J Hum Biol. 2009; 21(1):2-15.


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