Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 135–143 | Cite as

Reproductive characteristics of Southeast Asian immigrants before and after migration

  • Jennifer L. Kornosky
  • Jennifer D. PeckEmail author
  • Anne M. Sweeney
  • Pamela L. Adelson
  • Susan L. Schantz
Original Paper


We describe the reproductive health and practices of Hmong immigrants before and after migration to the United States. Data were gathered as part of an ongoing study on the impact of perinatal exposure to environmental chemicals on children’s health in Hmong residents of Green Bay, Wisconsin between August 1999 and May 2002. Of the 742 pregnancies reported by 141 reproductive-aged couples, 669 were live births. The Hmong have an average of 5.2 children (range 0–14) and the sex ratio differed by country of birth. Prenatal care began in the first trimester for 60% of US-born infants, up from 12% prior to immigration. Breastfeeding decreased from 94% and 88% in Laos and Thailand to only 11% for Hmong born in the US. Contraceptive use was reported by 25.5% of women; few reported smoking and alcohol consumption. The results suggest that Hmong immigrants may benefit from public health support targeting prenatal care and breastfeeding practices.


Southeast Asian immigrants Reproductive characteristics Prenatal care Breastfeeding Sex ratio 



This work was supported by grants ES11263 from NIEHS, R82939001 from the US EPA and 5RO1 TS000008–03 from ATSDR. The authors thank Donna Gasior, Nicole Yang, Say Vang, WaSeng Yang, Chia Ly and Chao Thao for their efforts devoted to participant recruitment, data collection and data management.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer L. Kornosky
    • 1
  • Jennifer D. Peck
    • 2
    Email author
  • Anne M. Sweeney
    • 1
  • Pamela L. Adelson
    • 1
  • Susan L. Schantz
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsTexas A & M Health Science CenterCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public HealthUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Veterinary BiosciencesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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