The experiences of African women giving birth in Brisbane, Australia

Health Care Women Int. 2010 May;31(5):458-72. doi: 10.1080/07399330903548928.


Our purpose in this research was to uncover first-person descriptions of the birth experiences of African refugee women in Brisbane, Australia, and to explore the common themes that emerged from their experiences. We conducted semistructured interviews with 10 African refugees who had given birth in Brisbane. Essences universal to childbirth such as pain, control, and experiences of caregivers featured prominently in participants' descriptions of their experiences. Their experiences, however, were further overshadowed by issues such as language barriers, the refugee experience, female genital mutilation (FGM), and encounters with health services with limited cultural competence.

MeSH terms

  • Africa / ethnology
  • Anecdotes as Topic
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Australia
  • Circumcision, Female / ethnology
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Culture*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Parturition / ethnology*
  • Parturition / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Refugees