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Birth Experiences of Immigrant Latina Women in a New Growth Community

Carnahan, Meagan Kathleen (2011) Birth Experiences of Immigrant Latina Women in a New Growth Community. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh.

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    Abstract

    A woman's birth experience is consistently described as one of the most psychologically significant events of a woman's life and has been shown to impact the physical, psychosocial, and mental well-being of mothers long after the birth of their child. There is increasing public health importance in assessing the health and wellbeing of the Latino community as this population continues to expand into new-growth areas. The purpose of this study was to understand Latina's perceptions of their childbirth experience, what factors impact their perceptions, and whether other variables, such as insurance status, English proficiency level, and education level are associated with childbirth experience. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a non-proportional quota sampling of ten Latina women, five of whom had insurance and five who were uninsured. All women gave birth within the previous twelve months in Allegheny County and were recruited from a Spanish-speaking pediatrics clinic. After analysis of the interviews, common themes were coded and an analytic memo was written in order to connect the themes together. Most women reported a positive global experience, however all recalled negative moments. Birth outcome and the birth of a healthy child were the most important factors influencing birth experiences for participants. The presence of a support person throughout childbirth and into the postpartum period, specifically the participant's husband or partner, also played a large role in childbirth perceptions. Communication problems, particularly for those with lower levels of English proficiency, negatively contributed to the event, while an amicable patient-provider relationship was associated with more positive memories. Locus of control, prior expectations of the birth event, and postpartum physical and emotional recovery also influenced experiences. There were differences found between insured and uninsured women, as insured women reported increased childbirth and postpartum support, decreased communication barriers, and higher levels of external control. Recommendations to improve birth experience are presented, and include increasing culturally sensitive care, and enhancing formal and informal postpartum support through strengthened social networks. Additional research is needed to further understand a number of themes, including desired locus of control, and the role of Latino culture during childbirth.


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    Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
    Creators/Authors:
    CreatorsEmailORCID
    Carnahan, Meagan Kathleenmeagancarnahan@yahoo.com
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmailORCID
    Committee ChairDocum├ęt, Patricia Ipdocumet@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberChaves-Gnecco, DiegoDiego.ChavesGnecco@chp.edu
    Committee MemberGuadamuz, Thomas Eteg10@pitt.edu
    Title: Birth Experiences of Immigrant Latina Women in a New Growth Community
    Status: Unpublished
    Abstract: A woman's birth experience is consistently described as one of the most psychologically significant events of a woman's life and has been shown to impact the physical, psychosocial, and mental well-being of mothers long after the birth of their child. There is increasing public health importance in assessing the health and wellbeing of the Latino community as this population continues to expand into new-growth areas. The purpose of this study was to understand Latina's perceptions of their childbirth experience, what factors impact their perceptions, and whether other variables, such as insurance status, English proficiency level, and education level are associated with childbirth experience. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a non-proportional quota sampling of ten Latina women, five of whom had insurance and five who were uninsured. All women gave birth within the previous twelve months in Allegheny County and were recruited from a Spanish-speaking pediatrics clinic. After analysis of the interviews, common themes were coded and an analytic memo was written in order to connect the themes together. Most women reported a positive global experience, however all recalled negative moments. Birth outcome and the birth of a healthy child were the most important factors influencing birth experiences for participants. The presence of a support person throughout childbirth and into the postpartum period, specifically the participant's husband or partner, also played a large role in childbirth perceptions. Communication problems, particularly for those with lower levels of English proficiency, negatively contributed to the event, while an amicable patient-provider relationship was associated with more positive memories. Locus of control, prior expectations of the birth event, and postpartum physical and emotional recovery also influenced experiences. There were differences found between insured and uninsured women, as insured women reported increased childbirth and postpartum support, decreased communication barriers, and higher levels of external control. Recommendations to improve birth experience are presented, and include increasing culturally sensitive care, and enhancing formal and informal postpartum support through strengthened social networks. Additional research is needed to further understand a number of themes, including desired locus of control, and the role of Latino culture during childbirth.
    Date: 29 June 2011
    Date Type: Completion
    Defense Date: 13 April 2011
    Approval Date: 29 June 2011
    Submission Date: 31 March 2011
    Access Restriction: No restriction; The work is available for access worldwide immediately.
    Patent pending: No
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
    URN: etd-03312011-142015
    Uncontrolled Keywords: birth experience; childbirth; hispanic; latino; maternal health
    Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 14:33
    Last Modified: 04 Apr 2012 14:47
    Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-03312011-142015/, etd-03312011-142015

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