Felicia Airini Lawrie, Yvonne Awhina Mitchell, Ashleigh Barrett-Young, Amanda Ellen Clifford

Birth by emergency caesarean delivery: Perspectives of Wāhine Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand

  • Applied Psychology

In Aotearoa New Zealand, wāhine Māori (Māori women) are overrepresented in several negative post-natal outcomes, including negative outcomes related to caesarean deliveries. We aimed to understand the experiences of wāhine Māori who had experienced a caesarean delivery and to identify how healthcare systems can better meet the needs of wāhine Māori during pre- and post-natal care. Using kaupapa Māori principles, thematic analysis of one-on-one interviews identified eight themes covering a range of issues related to overall wellbeing. Bodily autonomy and choice were discussed by all participants, as was the need for mental wellbeing to be a larger focus of perinatal care. Participants also shared positive encounters with midwives and nurses, as well as a desire to incorporate religious and cultural practices within perinatal care. The caesarean delivery birthing stories of wāhine Māori highlighted the importance of Māori health models in understanding and providing culturally-affirming healthcare to wāhine Māori across Aotearoa.

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