birth stories, Ecuadorian women, ethnographic inquiry


Purpose: The purpose of this ethnographic study was to describe the perceptions of Ecuadorian childbearing women. Background: No studies published in English could be found documenting the perspectives of Ecuadorian childbearing women about their birth experiences. Method: Thirty-two women who had recently given birth in Guayaquil, Ecuador participated in audiotaped interviews, which were analyzed as appropriate for ethnographic inquiry. Results: “Enduring birth to obtain the gift” was the overarching theme. Supporting themes included caring for self and accessing prenatal care to have a healthy newborn; relying on God to ensure positive maternal/newborn outcomes; submission of self to healthcare providers because of fear, pain, and lack of education; and valuing motherhood. The focus was on the well-being of the child rather than the quality of the birth experience. Implications for Clinical Practice: With a growing population of women of childbearing age immigrating into the United States from Central and South America, the need for culturally competent care is increasing. Sensitivity to the cultural beliefs and practices of Hispanic and other culturally diverse childbearing women is critical. Women's reliance on God to ensure positive outcomes should be respected. The provision of education and supportive care will help ensure positive outcomes in culturally diverse women.

Original Publication Citation

Callister, L.C., Corbett, C., Reed, S., Tomao, C.*, & Thornton, K.* (2010). Giving Birth: The voices of Ecuadorian women. The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing, 24(2), 146-154.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing





University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor