Essat, Zaheera (2006) Migrant Women’s Birth Stories. In: Narrative, Memory & Knowledge: Representations, Aesthetics, Contexts. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 173-182.

In a multicultural society, health care providers need to ensure that care reflects
the needs of a wide range of people (Cheung, 2002:291). In order to provide
midwifery care that is woman centred, midwives should understand the needs
of women. Health professionals have to review their care practices and assess
whether these match the traditional beliefs and values of childbearing women
(Kaewsarn, Moyle and Creedy, and 2003:365). Whatever the cultural beliefs of
the women, midwives should be providing support to childbearing women at
such a vulnerable time in their lives (Davies, 2000:124). It is the quality of care
and support that shapes women’s experience of childbirth and their abilities to
take on their new mothering roles (Callister, 1995:329 and Schott and Henley,
1996a: xv).
Listening to women’s stories of their birthing experiences has been central
to my role as a midwife; continuing to do this within my research investigation
seemed quite a natural process. I soon discovered, by using the Biographic
Narrative Interpretive Method (see Wengraf, 2001; Jones, 2004) to elicit
stories from ethnic minority migrant women, that many of my assumptions
were challenged - both with the method and the stories shared. The women that
I have interviewed for my project are comprised of a blend of women from
varying ethnic and religious alliances and ages and have resided in Britain for
varying amounts of time. I have completed my interviews and I am currently at
the analysis stage of my work. By sharing my journey through these processes,
I will explore the background of my research, my arrival at using the
Biographic Narrative Interpretive Method for my research investigation and
findings from early analysis stages of my work.

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