Difficulties of pregnancy, delivery, and child raising for immigrant women in Japan and their strategies for overcoming them

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  • 在日外国人女性の日本での妊娠・出産・育児の困難とそれを乗り越える方略

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Abstract

Objectives<br>The study aims to clarify the difficulties of pregnancy, delivery, and child raising for immigrant women in Japan and their strategies for overcoming them.<br>Methods<br>The semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 immigrant women who have experience of delivery or child raising in Japan. The participants were asked about their experiences and difficulties faced during pregnancy, delivery, and child raising, and how they overcame them. The data were analyzed in a qualitative and descriptive manner.<br>Results<br>Seven core categories of difficulties were extracted:«anxiety about child raising»,«problems with relationships with others»,«socio-economic problems»,«anxiety about pregnancy, delivery, and diseases»,«problems caused by illiteracy»,«lack of understanding about Japanese health system»,«choice of the delivery country». Women's«making efforts to manage»is supported by family members and it leads to«use of the Japanese health system». Getting support from friends and neighbors, and the use of an interpreter also leads to this. Some women try to overcome the difficulties by«using a non- Japanese health system»or«doing nothing».<br>Conclusions<br>When foreigners access health services, not only literacy but also health literacy, such as understanding medical terms or health systems are necessary. Many immigrant women got support from family and friends to overcome the difficulties. However, some women could not get such support and it is necessary for them to make a support network. Foreign women who take negative strategies and use non-Japanese health systems may be in the process of adjusting to Japanese society. Health providers should not deny such strategies, but understand them as a way of decreasing anxiety.

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