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“They get a C-section…they gonna die”: Somali women’s fears of obstetrical interventions in the United States.

J Transcult Nurs. 2010 Jul;21(3):220-7. doi: 10.1177/1043659609358780.

“They get a C-section…they gonna die”: Somali women’s fears of obstetrical interventions in the United States.

Brown E, Carroll J, Fogarty C, Holt C.

University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14620, USA. elizabeth_brown@urmc.rochester.edu

ABSTRACT

The authors explore sources of resistance to common prenatal and obstetrical interventions among 34 Somali resettled adult women in Rochester, New York. Results of individual interviews and focus groups with these women revealed aversion to or outright fear of cesarean sections because of fear of death and substantial resistance regarding other obstetrical interventions. Because Somali women expressed resistance to many common U.S. prenatal/obstetrical care practices, educating health professionals about Somali women’s fears and educating Somali women about common obstetrical practices are both necessary to improve maternity care for non-Bantu and Bantu Somali women.

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