The experience of pregnancy, labour and birth of Thai women in Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:To identify the perceptions and experience of pregnancy care, labour and birth of Thai women in Melbourne, Australia. DESIGN:An ethnographic interview and participant observation with women in relation to pregnancy, labour and birth. SETTING:Melbourne Metropolitan Area, Victoria, Australia. PARTICIPANTS:30 Thai women who are now living in Melbourne. FINDINGS:Thai women saw antenatal care as an important aspect of their pregnancy and sought care as soon as they suspected they were pregnant. They were more concerned about the well-being of their babies than their own health, therefore they attended all antenatal appointments. In general, these women were satisfied with care during labour, but some also had negative experiences with their caregivers and hospital routine. When asked to compare maternity services between Thailand and Australia, most of the women believed that services in Australia were better. However, women who had had good experiences of childbirth in Thailand, tended to have negative feelings about the Australian experience. There was also evidence in this study that most of these Thai women did not receive adequate information about care. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:Women's perceptions and experiences of antenatal care, labour and birth deserve attention, if appropriate and sensitive care is to be provided to women in Australia and elsewhere. It is only when women's voices are heard in all aspects of health-care delivery that we may see better and appropriate health services for women in childbirth.

publication date

  • June 1998