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Keywords:

  • Somalia;
  • refugees;
  • childbirth;
  • labor;
  • delivery;
  • health education;
  • Minnesota

More than half of all Somali refugees in the United States live in Minnesota. To obtain information to develop culturally sensitive health education materials, we conducted two focus groups with 14 Somali women who had each given birth to one child in Minnesota. Overall, women thought that their childbirth experience was positive. They also reported racial stereotyping, apprehension of cesarean births, and concern about the competence of medical interpreters. Women wanted more information about events in the delivery room, pain medications, prenatal visits, interpreters, and roles of hospital staff. The most desirable educational formats were a videotape, audiotapes, printed materials, and birth center tours. To increase their attendance at prenatal appointments, participants said they needed reminder telephone calls, transportation, and childcare.