Embodied Meanings of Early Childbearing Among American Indian Women: A Turning Point
Article first published online: 21 AUG 2012
© 2012 by the American College of Nurse-Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 57, Issue 5, pages 502–508, September/October 2012
How to Cite
Palacios, J., Chesla, C., Kennedy, H. and Strickland, J. (2012), Embodied Meanings of Early Childbearing Among American Indian Women: A Turning Point. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 57: 502–508. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-2011.2012.00165.x
- Issue published online: 6 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 21 AUG 2012
- vulnerable populations;
- qualitative research;
- teen pregnancy;
- American Indian;
- interpretive phenomenology;
- early childbearing;
- young motherhood
Introduction: American Indian women often have poor perinatal outcomes and are at risk for early childbearing. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the experience and meaning of early childbearing among American Indian women.
Methods: Employing interpretive phenomenology and a semistructured interview guide, we interviewed 30 adult American Indian women residing in a northwestern American Indian reservation about their experiences and meaning of early childbearing.
Results: Three overarching themes were tied to their eventual positive evaluation of the experience: 1) mourning a lost childhood, 2) seeking fulfillment, and 3) embodying responsibility.
Discussion: Women indicated that despite their tumultuous childhoods, early childbearing presented an opportunity to effect positive change in their lives. Women's health care providers are positioned to help women change their lives, thereby, improving health outcomes.