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Experiences of Childbirth of African, Indian, and American Women

Pregnant women refugees from Africa face many issues during migration. The mothers felt fear, loneliness and did not understand how the baby would be born because they had no previous contact with the Australian health system. At the same time, the situation was complicated because they did not know their rights and did not learn the language well. Therefore, women who have given birth believe that the hospital did not correctly explain the birth process (Murray, et al., 2010). The experience of African refugee women in Australia is exciting and sad as they pretended to assume the doctor’s advice but did not know how to follow them.

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One African woman complained that nurses had asked her if she would have more children. Refugees were frustrated by the lack of continuity of care as they encountered much different staff during pregnancy. Another problem faced by African refugee women is the male doctor. The mothers confirmed that such a doctor could assist give birth to a child, which is standard in Australia, so they agreed to accompany him. Although, there were women who refused because it was not acceptable in Africa for a man to give birth and examine the baby and the mother. In addition, African women describe the birth process itself as dynamic (Murray, et al., 2010). However, often they refused analgesic procedures because they were not known to them. Most mothers were afraid that it would harm the baby. African women also preferred natural childbirth because this is the process considered normal in their culture.

The birth experience in India is unique and characterized by significant cultural differences. The first distinction is the age of the woman during pregnancy. In Indian practice, it is customary to have the first child before 18, as this is considered the optimal age for the birth to proceed normally. Women can give birth in a hospital, but making it home without medical facilities is also conventional. In contrast to the U.S. experience, Indian women, like African, fear the possible negative consequences of unnatural interventions. Moreover, women are seen as a symbol of strength and are obliged to endure anything. There is no such substantial prejudice as to who will deliver the baby, a woman or a man in India, but there are other peculiarities. These include the preference for cesarean section and among doctors rather than patients (Diamond-Smith, et al., 2016). This procedure is not medically necessary but is made because of financial gain. During Indian childbirth, the peculiarities regarding the presence of the family immediately after delivery are also pronounced. Not only the husband and closest relatives, who have undergone all medical examinations, but absolutely everyone is allowed to enter, so the number of people in the medical room is sometimes more than 20.

As for the experience of giving birth to American women, they are not limited by the language barrier. Americans understand the doctor’s recommendations entirely and have a choice of where to give birth. Women can choose a hospital or prefer home birth. Many women practice painkillers during childbirth to relieve pain. Moreover, unlike Indian women, American women can see a child immediately after giving birth. For Western mothers, a system of childbirth insurance coverage has been adopted, which allows receiving quality care. However, many women who do not have pregnancy insurance complain that they have received high bills from the pharmacy. Genetic testing, hospital stays, food are too expensive (The conversation, n.d.). It can be concluded that American women’s experience is positive in terms of caring for them and the child but rather costly.


Diamond-Smith, N., Sudhinaraset, M., Melo, J., & Murthy, N. (2016). The relationship between women’s experiences of mistreatment at facilities during childbirth, types of support received and person providing the support in Lucknow, India. Midwifery, 40, 114-123. Web.

Murray, L., Windsor, C., Parker, E., & Tewfik, O. (2010). The experiences of African women giving birth in Brisbane, Australia. Health Care for Women International, 31(5), 458–472. Web.

The conversation. (n.d.). Born in the USA: Having a baby is costly and confusing, even for a health policy expert. Web.

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