In the 2007 paper “Traditional postpartum practices and rituals: a qualitative systematic review,” Toronto-based researchers showed that women from different cultures around the world follow similar postpartum practices after giving birth. At the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada, Cindy-Lee Dennis, Kenneth Fung, Sophie Grigoriadis, Gail Erlick Robinson, Sarah Romans, and Lori Ross examined fifty-one studies from over twenty countries that focused on traditional postpartum practices. The authors found that across the twenty countries, each culture’s postpartum practice included a specified rest period, a prescribed diet, and organized support from family members. In the literature review, Dennis and her team concluded that healthcare providers should consider the major similarities between cultural postpartum practices to deliver culturally competent perinatal care.
In 1978 Social Science and Medicine published Barbara L.K. Pillsbury's article, 'Doing the Month': Confinement and Convalescence of Chinese Women After Childbirth, which summarized the results of Pillsbury's study on Chinese childbirth customs. Pillsbury, a professor of cultural anthropology at San Diego State University in San Diego, California, conducted over eighty interviews with people in Taiwan and China, including civilians, herbalists, and physicians over a four-month period in 1975. She aimed to highlight how a traditional Chinese post-childbirth custom known as zuo yuezi (sitting the month) persisted in modern Chinese society. The practice refers to the month-long period that women who have just given birth must spend resting, or in convalescence, adhering to a strict set of rules that address dietary needs and other cultural rituals. Pillsbury's Doing the Month provides a description and analysis of zuo yuezi (sitting the month), highlighting how traditional Chinese medicine persists in an increasingly westernized Chinese society, specifically in the case of childbirth and reproductive medicine.