Birth Experiences of Immigrant Latina Women in a New Growth Community
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- Niebler, M., Documét, P.I., Chaves-Gnecco, D. et al. J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (2016) 3: 466. doi:10.1007/s40615-015-0159-y
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A woman’s birth experience can impact the physical and mental well-being of mothers long after the birth of their child. Little is known about the experiences of Latina women in areas with small, yet growing Latino populations. To understand Latina’s perceptions of their childbirth experience and to see how insurance status impacts that experience, we conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with a non-proportional quota sampling of ten Latina women, five with and five without health insurance. Most women reported a positive global experience; the birth of a healthy child was the most important factor influencing birth experiences for all of them. Locus of control and support from medical providers and loved ones also shaped experiences. Uninsured women reported lower levels of perceived control and support, which did impact their birthing experience. These differences could be influenced by social status and position. Medical provider, hospital, and policy recommendations are made which could lead to improvements in uninsured Latinas’ childbirth experiences.