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Experiences of first-generation Mexican women and Certified Nurse-midwives during pregnancy and birth

Shanell K Sanchez, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


First-generation immigrant Latinas' experiences during pregnancy and birth with Certified Nurse-midwives are an understudied phenomenon. This phenomenological case study examines the lived experiences of immigrant Latinas' and CNMs' during pregnancy and birth in a Midwestern community. In particular, the acculturation process for immigrant Latinas during pregnancy, specifically focusing on selective acculturation. The influence of the CNMs on the acculturation process is also explored. Data sources include semi-structured in-depth interviews with 20 first-generation Mexican women who are pregnant or have given birth at a public clinic in the past six months. This study also includes semi-structured in-depth interviews with 5 Certified Nurse-midwives and 2 physicians who provide care to immigrant Latinas in a public clinic. Four broad themes emerged from this study: "Provide All Women a Voice," "If I Had a Magic Wand," "The Most Important is Baby" and "I Know it Would Be Different." This study concludes that immigrant Latinas' are highly satisfied with the care they receive from midwives. However, there are barriers such as the influence of the medical model, financial restraints, and social and cultural differences that create tensions for midwives and Latinas. These tensions influence the type of care women are able to receive, as well as overall experiences. This study supports the notion that selective acculturation, or maintaining social and cultural practices from the home country, is important when studying immigrant Latinas' experiences during pregnancy and birth. CNMs' influenced the process by encouraging and discouraging behavioral, social, and cultural practices.

Subject Area

Medicine|Sociology|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Sanchez, Shanell K, "Experiences of first-generation Mexican women and Certified Nurse-midwives during pregnancy and birth" (2012). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3510457.