What may be considered a clear and obvious process among Dutch mothers, may seem to be a quite difficult challenge for most migrant mothers in the Netherlands. Language barriers and a lack of clarity about how the Dutch healthcare system works can be major barriers for these women. On the part of health professionals, cultural differences may impose themselves as a distancing factor and as barriers to understanding between them.
According to a research published by NIH in 2020, In the Netherlands asylum-seeking women show a 10-fold increase in maternal mortality, twice as much prenatal mortality and an increased risk of maternal morbidity, including a higher prevalence of uterine rupture, eclampsia, major obstetric hemorrhage and intensive care unit admission during pregnancy. A potential reason for this may be because coaching these women can be a bigger challenge for a caregiver due to a language barrier and cultural differences.
Given this context and the certainty that extra attention should be paid to newcomer women during pregnancy and after by health care providers, Road of Hope is leading a research that builds a bridge between professionals and pregnant women or mothers with a child under 2 years old from many different cultures. “Collectief Cultuureel Onderzoek” (CCO or Collective Cultural Research in English) will ask the women (Syrians, Eretria, Moroccan and Somali) for their experience in healthcare. And will also ask the professionals for their experience working with these different cultures. With the CCO we also want to give training for professionals to work interculturally.
Partnering with GGD Amsterdam, Nisa for Nisa, and Stichting SomAstel, the research starts collecting inputs from women and professionals asking questions such as these: What are the needs of pregnant women and mothers of Eritrean, Somali, Syrian, and Moroccan backgrounds during the first 1000 days of pregnancy? How do healthcare professionals experience the collaboration with pregnant women and mothers of Eritrean, Somali, Syrian, and Moroccan backgrounds?
Through this study, we hope to contribute to the strengthening of the healthcare system and the health of newcomer mothers and their children with the ultimate goal to achieve equity in health. The Collectief Cultuureel Onderzoek, coordinated by Valérie Chin, consists of 5 stages that will take place from August 2022 till June 2023.