Childbirth Experiences in Australia of Women Born in Turkey, Vietnam, and Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Migrant women constitute a growing proportion of the childbearing population in many high-income countries. The aim of this study was to investigate experiences of childbirth, including recollection of pain and use of pain relief, in women born in Vietnam, Turkey, and Australia who gave birth in Victoria, Australia. METHODS: One hundred Vietnamese-born and 100 Turkish-born women were compared with 100 Australian-born women who gave birth in the same metropolitan hospital during the same time period. Only women who had a normal vaginal birth and gave birth to a healthy baby were included. They were interviewed between 24 hours after the birth and hospital discharge. RESULTS: Vietnamese women used less pain relief, reported more pain, and described childbirth overall more negatively than Australian women, while also reporting less anxiety, more confidence, and less panic during labor. Turkish women's responses were more similar to those of Australian women, but they were slightly more satisfied with childbirth overall despite recollecting more pain, and were also more likely to perceive time normally. Turkish women used a similar amount of pharmacological pain relief as Australian women, but used more relaxation and breathing techniques. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that women's responses to childbirth are associated with cultural background. Midwives and other caregivers should be particularly sensitive in assessing Vietnamese women's pain during labor.

publication date

  • December 2005

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