Problem: Within maternity care policies and practice, pregnant migrant women are regarded as a vulnerable population.
Background: Women’s experiential knowledge is a key element of woman-centred care but is insufficiently addressed in midwifery practice and research that involves migrant women.
Aim: To examine if pregnant migrant women’s experiential knowledge of vulnerability corresponds with sets of criteria of vulnerability, and to explore how migrant women make sense of vulnerability during
Methods: A sequential two-phased mixed-methods study, conducted in the Netherlands, integrating survey data of 89 pregnant migrant women and focus group data obtained from 25 migrant mothers -
living in deprived areas according to the Dutch socio-economic index.
Results: Criteria associated with vulnerability were reported by 65.2% of the participants and 62.9% of the participants reported adverse childhood experiences. On a Visual Analogue Scale, ranging from 0 (not vulnerable)to 10 (very vulnerable), participants self reported sense of vulnerability showed a mean score of 4.2 (2.56). Women’s experiential knowledge of vulnerability significantly correlated with the mean sum score of clinical criteria of vulnerability (r .46, p .002) and with the mean sum score of adverse childhood experiences (r .48, p<.001). Five themes emerged from the focus group discussions: “Look beyond who you think I am and see and treat me for who I really am”, “Ownership of truth and knowledge”, “Don’t punish me for being honest”, “Projection of fear” and “Coping with labelling”.
Conclusion: Pregnant migrant women’s experiential knowledge of vulnerability is congruent with the criteria. Calling upon experiential knowledge is an attribute of the humane woman-midwife relationship
(Fontein)Kuipers, Y. J., & Mestdagh, E. (2022). The experiential knowledge of migrant women about vulnerability during pregnancy: A woman-centred mixed-methods study. Women and Birth, 35(1), 70-79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2021.03.004