Dr. Leona VandeVusse and Dr. Lisa Hanson, College of Nursing
Background: A woman’s birth story allows each woman to tell her own perspectives about her experience of bringing a child into the world. As healthcare providers, it is always important to value listening to and learning from our clients. Researchers systematically analyzing birth stories can yield insights on ways to improve birthing experiences for women. This is especially important for African American women, who differentially encounter the most numerous health disparities of any racial group, with twice as much infant mortality than other groups.
Purpose: This study examined birth stories of African American women in order to gain insights from them to better meet their needs. In this way, healthcare providers may learn strategies to address health disparities.
Methods: A secondary analysis of five African American birth stories was conducted.
Findings: Three themes were identified from the women’s stories: (a) desire for continuous labor support, (b) preference for certain characteristics of healthcare providers (such as gender and race), and (c) reliance on spirituality for coping.
Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of listening to and learning from women.
Clinical Relevance: Healthcare providers can likely improve the care of their patients by incorporating these themes into their methods of care. Understanding and taking action towards the unsaid needs of African American women experiencing childbirth can ultimately help health disparities get addressed.
Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing
McCoy, Tamiah N., "Tamiah N. McCoy - African American Women’s Birth Stories as Told To African American Women Interviewers" (2013). Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program 2013. 16.