Traditionally, Hmong women gave birth while in a standing or squatting position. Usually, only the husband and midwife were allowed to be present for the birth. A floor built from ax-hewn planks thatched with bamboo and grass. On dirt floor which is kept clean with a sprinkling of water, the newborn babies when born don’t touch the floor even when the mother is squatting they are delivered into the hands of the mother, as the mother reaches between her legs to bring out the head. Usually, no birth attendant is present. The spouse cuts the umbilical cord as Lia’s father did several times in Laos. As is the custom the umbilical cord is buried in mud after the birth of the baby and this was done thirteen times, however since Lia was born in the United States her birthing was according to the western practice, took place in a hospital, and the umbilical cord was destroyed in an incinerator.
The birthing practices of the Hmong people in Laos and the ones in the United States are totally different from one another, the good thing about the Hmong practice is that the whole process is very natural, and this way the mother is closest to her child, however, if there is some complication in birthing then both the child and the mother at a grave risk. The Hospital birthing, on the other hand, is very safe, however, the surroundings are not very natural and even the birthing position is different.
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