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Perceptions and experiences of Antenatal care among Lao, Cambodian and Vietnamese Women, The




This chapter examines the how Laotian women access antenatal care. Despite the fact that antenatal care has become a commonly accepted health service for pregnant women, it is only in the last decade that researchers and health professionals have become more interested in antenatal care and its users in most Western countries. Most studies have looked at those who do not seek or delay seeking antenatal care as well as barriers to antenatal care. A review of trends in use of antenatal care reveals consistently that the underutilisation of antenatal care is most marked in the more disadvantaged groups. Women living in poverty, women from minority groups, unmarried women and women with high parity are those who are least likely to obtain adequate antenatal care. In a study by Ventura et al. (1995) comparing the use of antenatal care by African–American, Hispanic and white women, for example, the researchers found that the two ethnic groups were less likely to obtain care in the first trimester than were white women.


Contents include

  • Background to the study
  • Methodology
  • Findings
  • Discussion
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Author / Editor Biographies

Statistician (Centre for the study of Mothers' and Children's Health, Monash University)
Since 1982, Lyndsey Watson has worked in medical or public health research including a bowel cancer case-control study, AIDS epidemic predictions, nursing research and research associated with mothers' and children's health. At present she is the statistician at the Centre for the Study of Mothers' and Children's Health, Monash University.
Cultural - medical anthropologist
Dr Pranee Liamputtong is a medical anthropologist whose interests include the health of women, children, immigrants, refugees, older people, and transgender individuals. In terms of health issues, Pranee is very interested in issues relating to motherhood, reproductive health, sexuality, sexual health, and mental health. She has carried out a number of research projects with refugee and immigrant women in Australia and women in Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand. Recently, Pranee has focused her research on the sexuality and sexual health issues of Asian women and refugee/immigrant gro...
Nam Doan works for La Trobe University on a study of the influence of cultural beliefs and practices on childbirth among Southeast Asian women. She has also been engaged in another study of the experiences of non-English-speaking background women and their access to the health care system.
Buongnou Phaosihavong currently works as a community development worker with the Lao Australian Welfare Association and as a research assistant in the School of Public Health at La Trobe University.
Chandoravann Dy is presently working as a Research Assistant at the School of Public Health at La Trobe University and as a Community Development worker at Springvale Community Health Centre.
Charin Naksook gained her PhD from Monash University in 1994. With a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from La Trobe University, Charin studied cultural practices and childbirth among Thai woman in Australia. At present she is working on a research project led by Dr Pranee Liamputtong Rice on childbirth and the health of Southeast Asian women.

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