Maternity Care Experiences of Asia Ethnic Minorities in Rural Tasmania, Australia: A Mixed Methods Study
Hoang, H and Le, Q and Kilpatrick, SI, Maternity Care Experiences of Asia Ethnic Minorities in Rural Tasmania, Australia: A Mixed Methods Study, Health and Well-Being: A Social and Cultural Perspective, Nova Science Publishers, Q Le (ed), New York, pp. 157-175. ISBN 9781611226485 (2011) [Research Book Chapter]
When migrating to Australia Asian women bring with them birthing cultural beliefs and practices, many of which are different from the Australian medical and cultural understanding of reproduction. Such cultural differences may result in conflicts between clients and health care providers especially when the migrants have a poor knowledge of English. The research investigated the maternity care experiences of Asian migrants in Tasmania. The barriers that Asian migrants face in accessing maternity care services and the factors that affect their views towards maternity care were also explored.
Mixed methods of quantitative and qualitative were employed. Ten women from different ethnic minorities were invited to semi-structured interviews. The qualitative data were analysed using grounded theory. Findings from the interviews were utilised to design a survey questionnaire. Of the 150 survey questionnaires posted, 121 questionnaires were returned. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square tests of independence were used to analyse quantitative data.
Asian migrants followed some traditional practices such as having good rest and eating hot food during the postpartum month. However, they tended to adapt or disregard traditional practices that were no longer applicable in the new environment including the practices of not washing or having a shower. Support is vital for women recovering after childbirth to prevent postnatal depression. Two main barriers migrant women face in accessing health care are language and cultural barriers. Country of origin, partnerís ethnicity, religion and length of stay in Australia are factors that shape the migrantsí views and attitudes towards and experience of maternity care.
Providing interpreting services, social support for migrant women and improving the cross-cultural training for healthcare providers are recommended to improve available maternal care services. The factors that affect migrantsí view on maternity care should be taken into account when providing maternity care for Asian migrant women.
Research Book Chapter
Asian women, Australia, childbirth, cultural diversity, health services for migrants, maternity care, reproductive health, barriers to accessing maternity care.