Violence, wellbeing, and being approached with questions about violence in maternity care encounters. A qualitative study with Somali-born women in the context of recent migration to Sweden.
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Background: Somali-born women constitute one of the largest groups of childbearing refugee women in Sweden after more than two decades of political violence in Somalia. In Sweden, these women encounter a midwifery care system that includes antenatal care visits where routine questions on violence are asked. The aim of this study is to explore Somali-born women’s views on being approached with questions on violence in Swedish maternity care and how they understand and relate to violence and wellbeing.
Method: Qualitative interviews (22) with Somali-born women (17) living in Sweden were conducted and analysed using thematic analysis.
Findings: A balancing act between keeping private life private and the new welfare system was identified, where the midwife’s questions on violence were met with hesitance. The midwife was, however, considered a resource in gaining access to support services in the new society. A focus set on pragmatic strategies to move on in life, rather than dwelling on potential experiences of violence and related traumas, was prominent. Social networks, spiritual faith and motherhood were crucial for regaining coherence in the aftermath of war. Own experiences of intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence were not revealed. Dialogue and mutual adjustments were identified as strategies used to overcome power tensions in intimate relationships undergoing transition.
Conclusions: For beneficial violence prevention and identification, midwives’ questions on violence need to be justified in relevant ways and embedded in contexts of trustful relationships. Approaches of rationality and “moving on”, without focusing on violence or adversities, indicate strength and access to alternative resources, but need to be balanced against risks for hidden needs in care encounters. Collaborations between Somali communities, maternal health care and social service providers can support families in transition and bridge gaps to formal social and care services.
Somali-born women, maternity care, qualitative, thematic analysis, violence, wellbeing, Sweden
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject Caring Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-259880OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-259880DiVA: diva2:845753