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Provision of care to clients of migrant origin: the experiences of maternity care providers.

Boerleider, A.W., Francke, A.L., Wiegers, T.A., Manniën, J., Devillé, W.L.J.M. Provision of care to clients of migrant origin: the experiences of maternity care providers. European Journal of Public Health: 2012, 22(suppl. 2) 239. Abstract. 5th European Public Health Conference 'All inclusive public health'. 7-10 November 2012, St. Julians (Malta).
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Background: Women of non-western migrant origin comprise a substantial part of the client population in maternity care. According to Statistics Netherlands, mothers of non-western migrant origin contribute to 17% of all live births. This group is very diverse in origin which implies a variety in needs and expectations with regard to maternity care. Furthermore, clients of nonwestern migrant origin have been shown to make less adequate use of prenatal and postnatal care. This may add to the challenges maternity care providers already face due to the variety in needs and expectations. With this research we therefore wanted to explore which specific issues maternity care providers experience in their working relationship with clients of migrant origin and how they adjust their care to these clients. Methods: Individual semi-structured interviews with primary care midwives (N = 13) and maternity care assistants (N = 15) were conducted, as well as a focus group with 8 midwives. (Preliminary) Results: Three main themes emerged from the analysis. Remarkable are the similarities and differences in expression of these themes by these two groups of maternity care providers: 1. Facing challenges in the provision of care describing the difficulties maternity care providers experience: suboptimal health literacy skills (midwives), language barriers (both) 2. Striving for good health of mother and child describing maternity care providers’ efforts and adjustments: being alert and pro active (midwives), being creative (maternity care assistants), taking them by the hand and making use of alternative means (both) 3. Experiencing different feelings describing maternity care providers’ feelings: ambivalence (midwives), enjoying but sometimes difficult (maternity care assistants) Conclusions: To achieve optimal care for clients of migrant origin, it is important to address the challenges maternity care providers face and their efforts and adjustments, in both education programs and policy in daily maternity care practice. (aut. ref.)