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Exploring English speaking Muslim women's first-time maternity experiences: a qualitative longitudinal interview study

Hassan, SM, Leavey, C and Rooney, JS (2019) Exploring English speaking Muslim women's first-time maternity experiences: a qualitative longitudinal interview study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 19. ISSN 1471-2393

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Background: Muslim women of child-bearing age make up a fair part of the UK society, however, literature addressing their health needs or experiences of health services have not been extensively researched. The term ‘Muslim’ is often combined with ethnic group identity, rather than used to refer to people distinguished by beliefs or affiliations. Muslim women commonly observe certain religious and cultural practices during their maternity journey. The little research there is in this area suggests that more could be done from a service provision perspective to support Muslim women through this significant life event. The aim of this study was to investigate Muslim women’s perceived needs and the factors that influence their health seeking decisions when engaging with maternity services located in North-West of England.
Methods: The study used longitudinal semi-structured interviews with seven English-speaking first-time pregnant Muslim women receiving maternity care in North-West of England. Total of 21 interview; each woman was interviewed during the antenatal (29 to 40 weeks of pregnancy), immediate postnatal (within the first 2 months after birth) and later postnatal (4 months after birth) period. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed using Braun & Clark (2006) as a guide to forming a systematic approach to handling raw data.
Results: Muslim women associated most aspects of the maternity journey with their religious beliefs. Religion was not the primary reason for them becoming pregnant, yet it was an aspiration for them becoming mothers. Emerging themes include: 1) a spiritual perspective; 2) expression of religious requirements; 3) perceptions of healthcare professionals. Religious values and practices provided a positive resource for women during their maternity journey. They described how healthcare professionals approached their needs, while highlighting their concerns of the negative presentation of Muslims in Western media.
Conclusion: Muslim women need to feel confident to express their needs within a maternity setting. Lack of awareness amongst healthcare professionals around religious values and how Muslim women may feel when expressing their needs can inhibit them getting optimal care that acknowledges their needs. The study concludes that educating healthcare professionals about Muslim women’s worldview would enhance the quality of maternity care for Muslim women.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine, 1117 Public Health and Health Services, 1110 Nursing
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Divisions: Nursing & Allied Health
Public Health Institute
Publisher: BioMed Central
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2019 09:29
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 08:46
DOI or ID number: 10.1186/s12884-019-2302-y
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11464
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