Jordanian women: Perceptions and practices of first-time pregnancy


Reema Safadi, Al Zaytoonah Private University, PO Box 925 555, Amman 11190, Jordan. Email:


A woman's child-bearing encounter is an experience that reflects the cultural beliefs and practices of the society. The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions and practices of urban, low socioeconomic, Jordanian women (aged 18–30 years) in relation to their pregnancy career. An opportunistic sample consisting of 67 Muslim first-time pregnant women who followed up antenatal care at two maternity-care centres in East Amman was selected. A qualitative approach, including ethnographic semistructured interview, participant observation data from the households and clinics and oblique interviewing in random conversations initiated by the primigravidae, was conducted over 18 months. Women gave elaborative accounts of their pregnancy and childbirth expectations in narrative, phenomenological forms. Qualitative data analysis was performed concurrently with data collection, revealing the essential themes of immediacy of pregnancy; familial support and changing networks, especially for the after-birth period; fear of pain and medical interventions, all emphasizing the traditional and religious perceptions and practices in a familial context.