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.
- Background to the study