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ABSTRACT

Studies have shown that culturally sensitive prenatal care improves access to and utilization of that care. Focus groups were used to explore the beliefs and attitudes toward prenatal care among Somali women in San Diego, particularly in regard to their perinatal experiences following immigration. The women were very well informed about healthy prenatal practices, including nutrition and exercise, and very compliant in following such practices, having found ways and means to accommodate these practices into their new American lifestyle. The women were generally pleased with the care that they have received in San Diego and tolerant of most diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. The women preferred to be seen by a female doctor/health care practitioner who is informed about the female circumcision practiced in Somalia and who is conservative in the decision to perform cesarean section deliveries.