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LESBIAN MOTHERS

Health Care Experiences

Authors

  • S. Marie Harvey mph, drph,

    Corresponding author
    1. S. Marie Harvey is Assistant Professor in the Department of School and Community Health at the University of Oregon
      Department of School and Community Health, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403.
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  • Catherine Carr cnm, msn,

    1. Catherine Carr is a Certified Nurse-Midwife at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon
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  • Sheryl Bernheine ms

    1. Sheryl Bemheine is a Social Worker at Lane Council of Governments in Eugene, Oregon
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Department of School and Community Health, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403.

ABSTRACT

A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 35 women who had delivered within the last five years and were self-identified lesbians when they conceived. The majority of women conceived through donor insemination and used the medical care system to achieve pregnancy. All sought prenatal care within the first 16 weeks, 89% participated in childbirth classes, and 80% breastfed for six months or more. Over half of the women (51%) sought obstetrical care from physicians, while 49% selected midwives. The majority (91%) disclosed their sexual orientation to their provider. Overall the women described their experience with obstetrical care providers as positive. However, a greater percentage of women who selected midwives reported higher levels of support from and satisfaction with their provider compared to those who selected physicians.

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