The Rights of Unborn and Newborn Babies in Jordanian Arab Culture: Implications for Practice

Hala Bawadi1, Zaid M. Al-Hamdan2, *, Eshraq Farhat1, Khadeejeh Yousef Aldasoqi1, Mohammad Alhammdan3, Samir Jabaiti4
1 School of Nursing, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
2 Faculty of Nursing, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
3 School of Medicine, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
4 Faculty of Medicine, the University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

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© 2022 Bawadi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Faculty of Nursing, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan; Tel: +00962795853482; E-mail:



Traditional patterns relating to how to handle the provision of culturally competent care for refugees are often challenging. Addressing the unique religious and cultural beliefs and norms of refugee parents during the childbirth process will alleviate their anxiety and feelings of alienation with respect to healthcare systems.


This paper aims to understand the meaning of Jordanian women’s beliefs and practices related to their foetuses and newborns and to facilitate the recognition by Western healthcare providers of these practices among immigrants and refugees.


An interpretive phenomenological study was used to conduct an individual in-depth semi-structured interview with nine women.


Eight superordinate themes were identified: couple in legitimate relationship before conception, rejection of abortion, accepting the gender of the baby, guaranteeing that ‘Allah’ is the first word heard, rubbing the newborn’s palate with a date, choosing a meaningful name, ensuring circumcision for boys and showing gratitude to Allah.


The attitudes of Jordanian women towards newborns’ rights and care are greatly influenced by their cultural and religious backgrounds. Capturing these attitudes and needs can inform the development of health education strategies and information resources. To enhance Muslim women’s engagement in maternal newborn health services, maternity staff should endeavour to create a trusting relationship with the childbearing women, which values their social, cultural and spiritual needs.

Keywords: Newborn rights, Phenomenology, Qualitative, Cultural beliefs, Cultural practice, Arab.