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Original Research

Having a baby in the new land: a qualitative exploration of the experiences of Asian migrants in rural Tasmania, Australia

Submitted: 9 September 2008
Revised: 15 December 2008
Published: 24 February 2009

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Author(s) : Hoang HT, Le Q, Kilpatrick S.

Ha HoangQuynh LeSue Kilpatrick

Citation: Hoang HT, Le Q, Kilpatrick S.  Having a baby in the new land: a qualitative exploration of the experiences of Asian migrants in rural Tasmania, Australia. Rural and Remote Health 9: 1084. (Online) 2009. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au

ABSTRACT

Introduction:  Australia is a land of cultural diversity. Cultural differences in maternity care may result in conflict between migrants and healthcare providers, especially when migrants have minimal English language knowledge. The aim of the study was to investigate Asian migrant women’s child-birth experiences in a rural Australian context.
Method:  The study consisted of semi-structured interviews conducted with 10 Asian migrant women living in rural Tasmania to explore their childbirth experiences and the barriers they faced in accessing maternal care in the new land. The data were analysed using grounded theory and three main categories were identified: ‘migrants with traditional practices in the new land’, ‘support and postnatal experiences’ and ‘barriers to accessing maternal care’.
Results:  The findings revealed that Asian migrants in Tasmania faced language and cultural barriers when dealing with the new healthcare system. Because some Asian migrants retain traditional views and practices for maternity care, confusion and conflicting expectations may occur. Family and community play an important role in supporting migrant women through their maternity care.
Conclusions:  Providing interpreting services, social support for migrant women and improving the cross-cultural training for healthcare providers were recommended to improve available maternal care services.

Key words:  acculturation, Asian women, Australia, child birth, cultural diversity, health services for migrants, maternity care, reproductive health, rural health context.

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