Hmong and Prenatal Care

By Levenick, Mary | Journal of Cultural Diversity, Spring 2001 | Go to article overview

Hmong and Prenatal Care


Levenick, Mary, Journal of Cultural Diversity


Abstract: Providing prenatal care to the Hmong can be a challenge for the Advanced Practice Nurse. Although some Hmong have become acclimated to Western medicine, others may not understand Western preventative medicine, health promotion or prenatal care. Traditional cultural beliefs and socioeconomic status may contribute to the barriers a practitioner faces when providing prenatal care to a Hmong client. Practitioners must assess each client and identify barriers. Integrating cultural beliefs and Western medicine practices can then foster prenatal care.

Key Words: Hmong, Prenatal Care and the Hmong, Barriers to Prenatal Care

Since the end of the Vietnam War, over 1,000,000 Hmong refugees have relocated to the United States. Many refugees settled on the West Coast or in the Midwest (garrett, Shadick, Schilling, Spencer, Del Rosario, Moua, &v Vang, 1998; Jumbunathan & Stewart, 1995). A large number of Hmong continue to practice traditional customs. These Hmong not only want to help maintain their culture, but the advanced technology and medical practice of America may be overwhelming and unacceptable to some. However, others have assimilated Western ideas and practices (Barrett et al., 1998; Bjorkman, 1985; Mattson, 1995; Smith, 1997b; Walters, Rap & Petracchi, 1992). There are even variations of practices and beliefs among family members. Hmong elders often maintain traditional Hmong beliefs, but their children may acculturate Western practices. The practitioner must acknowledge these variations of cultural practices when providing prenatal care.

The Hmong client does not always understand preventative medicine, health promotion or prenatal care (Walters, Rap & Petracchi, 1992). Some Hmong have expressed a desire to receive health care similar to American care. However, despite these desires, many Hmong remain under-served by the Western medicine system and do not receive adequate prenatal care. This quandary exists not only because of conflicting beliefs between two cultures, but also because the practitioner and the Hmong client lack knowledge about each other (Fallen 1985; Gervais, 1996). Advanced practice nurses can learn about the cultures they serve and tailor prenatal care according to the needs of the client.

NEEDS OF HMONG CLIENTS

Practitioners must be clear on what the needs of their clients are. In the early 1980's, there was some concern that the Hmong had high levels of infant mortality. However, research indicated there was a higher incidence of low birth weights among whites compared to Hmong. Hmong also had a lower incidence of gestational diabetes, eclampsia, hypertension, cesarean sections, dystocia, failure to progress and cephalopelvic disproportion (Fallen 1985, 1992; Helsel, Petitti & Kunstadter, 1992). The possibility exists that even though the Hmong were under served by Western medicine their own self-- care prenatal practices resulted in healthy babies. Nevertheless, Hmong have a right to obtain adequate Western prenatal care.

The prenatal needs of Hmong have been compared to those of low socioeconomic status (Barrett et al., 1998; Helsel et al., 1992; Smith, 1997a). Hmong routinely have large families, lower income and less education. Socioeconomic status may have a direct impact on the utilization of prenatal care. Overcrowding and lack of income increases the risk for poor nutrition and illness. The Hmong with low socioeconomic status may also lack the conveniences of transportation and childcare (Mattson, 1995; Smith, 1997a; Sword, 1999).

BARRIERS TO PRENATAL CARE

There are a number of barriers when providing prenatal care to the Hmong. These barriers are not all due to cultural beliefs. Some are related to socio-- economic status, and some are related to lack of knowledge. Prior to coming to America, Hmong did not receive structured prenatal care. For many Hmong in the United States, routine prenatal care was not established until the second or third trimester.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Hmong and Prenatal Care
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.