In the recent past, the number of forcibly displaced people increased worldwide. About 1/3 of the persons seeking asylum in Germany are female. The majority of all refugee women who are coming to Germany are currently of childbearing age. Refugee women are considered a highly vulnerable refugee subgroup, as they frequently experience physical strains and psychological burdens while fleeing their home countries and being pregnant at the same time. Moreover, pregnancy and the following period require specialized care and support in order to allow a transition to maternity without complications. The aim of this project is to analyze maternal health care services for refugee women on the level of interaction with maternal health care professionals in Germany.
Maternal health care professionals in outpatient and clinical settings with experiences of caring for refugee women were recruited. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. The interviews are currently analyzed following the standards of qualitative thematic analysis.
Maternal health care professionals experience challenges in executing particular maternal health care actions, such as taking the medical history where there is no communication possible or performing examinations where there is no or little privacy (e.g. in camps). In addition there are changes in tasks, which are no subject to originally maternal health care, such as organizing translation and transportation. Furthermore they face a shortage of resources (e.g. translators, time), which constrains them to find solutions on an individual level.
Maternal health care professionals provide maternal health care to refugee women under special circumstances (e.g. communication barriers, discontinuity of care). As there are limited resources (e.g. translators, time) they develop solutions and strategies on an individual level.
Challenges and opportunities are disclosed by examining maternal health care professionals’ actions. Maternal health care improves through understanding maternal health care professionals’ strategies.