Maternal Experiences of Their Unborn Child's Spiritual Care: Patterns of Abstinence in Iran

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Heidari, T. ; Ziaei, S. ; Ahmadi, F. ; Mohammadi, E. ; Hall, Jenny (2014)

Preparing for pregnancy and childbirth has significant association with spirituality. Review of the literature shows that the spirituality of the “unborn child” has not yet attracted much critical attention. This study was conducted with the aim of exploration of maternal behaviors associated with the spiritual health of the unborn child. A qualitative approach was used to investigate the research question. Twenty-seven in-depth unstructured interviews were conducted with 22 Iranian mothers in Tehran city (Iran) who were pregnant or had experienced pregnancy in 2012-2013. Data analysis was carried out using a conventional content analysis approach. “Refusing to eat forbidden food,” “Overcoming mental adversity,” “Regulating one’s social interactions,” “Preventing the effects of harmful environments on the senses,” “Avoidance of using insulting and abusive language,” “Keeping one’s mind and spirit free from evil traits,” and “Refraining from damaging behaviors” were important experiences that the mothers used for “Holistic Abstinence.” The results provide new information about the subjective experiences of Iranian women on the patterns of abstinence for the midwives, research community, policy makers, and planners of maternal and child health care services in order to contribute to holistic, culturally, and religiously competent prenatal care for Muslim pregnant women throughout the world.
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