“You do what you have to do for the babies”: The Pregnancy Experiences of Native American Women

Jessica L. Liddell, Tess A. Carlson, Amy Stiffarm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Settler colonialism has contributed to disproportionate reproductive health disparities for Indigenous people, however the majority of literature surrounding pregnancy, centers the experiences of White individuals. This paper uses data from a qualitative study exploring reproductive health of Indigenous persons from a United States Gulf Coast tribe to elucidate the pregnancy experiences of 31 tribal members. In interviews, participants described how and from whom they learned about pregnancy and birth, their experiences with miscarriage and complications during pregnancy, working during pregnancy and lack of post-partum or maternity leave, and generational changes in pregnancy. These findings highlight the impact of previous reproductive experiences and family support during pregnancy for women from this tribe. The data also draws attention to the importance of paid leave in the postpartum period and provides an example of collaborative research methods with Indigenous communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-427
Number of pages19
JournalStudies in Social Justice
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • American Indian
  • birth justice
  • Indigenous
  • Native American
  • pregnancy
  • reproductive justice

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