News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Pregnant Maori teens let down by system

Embargoed until 9am Friday 2 May 2014
Pregnant Maori teens let down by system despite positive health-seeking behaviour

A new study dispels the myth that young pregnant Maori women delay access to antenatal care in their first trimester.

Rather, they are engaging early with health services to both confirm their pregnancy and initiate maternity care, but system barriers are delaying timely access to screening and enrolling with a lead maternity carer.

Published tomorrow (Friday, May 2) in the New Zealand Medical Journal, the study of 44 pregnant or recently pregnancy Maori women aged under 20 showed that, despite their youth and possible implications of finding out the were pregnant, most participants were proactive in taking steps to confirm their pregnancy, with primary care services such as the GP or a school or community-based youth specific health service.

However, this positive health-seeking behaviour was often met with inadequate information and support for young pregnant women navigating the next steps in their maternity care journey, lead author Charrissa Makowharemahihi says.
Many participants felt inadequately supported to be able to identify, confirm and enrol with a lead maternity carer (LMC). By contrast, those who received proactive support at the first interaction with health services had an appropriate maternity care pathway toward obtaining early and seamless maternity care, Ms Makowharemahihi says.

“Despite a publicly-funded maternity system, the fragmentation between primary non-LMC maternity care and LMC services had a negative impact on the pregnancy journey for many of these young women, disrupting access to early antenatal care.”
The potential repercussions of this disruption are sobering, Ms Makowharemahihi says.

“Perhaps the most sobering is that babies of Maori women are almost twice as likely to have a potentially avoidable death in the weeks immediately before and after birth than babies of New Zealand European mothers.”
Study co-author Dr Bev Lawton says being young and pregnant is a risk factor for poor health outcomes for both mother and baby, with teenage pregnancies often associated with increased mortality of babies before and after birth, low weight gain of the mother and premature birth.

“In New Zealand, teenage mothers are at higher risk of stillbirth and neonatal death compared to older mothers. These differences can only be partially explained by socioeconomic status. Rather, they are part of a larger picture of health disparities that suggests there are system and health service factors contributing to differential health outcomes for Maori,” Dr Lawton says.

The study used the experiences of the participants to identify where and at what point the system and services are not working well for this group of women, she says.

“Increasing our knowledge about the circumstances and range of needs of pregnant Maori women aged under 20 is necessary to avoid increasing health inequalities for an already disadvantaged population group.”

Disruptions in access to maternity care could be addressed through emphasising an integrated seamless model of care with maternity care beginning at the first interaction with health care services, Dr Lawton says.

“At that point GPs could take responsibility for first trimester screening and navigation to a lead maternity carer.”

The study was funded by the Health Research Council and Ministry of Youth Development.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: The Stolen Island: Searching for ‘Ata by Scott Hamilton

Reviewed by Michael Horowitz
Located even further south than temperate Noumea, Tonga’s tiny island of ‘Ata might have become the jewel of the kingdom’s burgeoning tourist industry. Imagine a Tongan resort that would not only be mild in winter, but pleasant in summer. More>>

Reviewed by Michael Horowitz
Located even further south than temperate Noumea, Tonga’s tiny island of ‘Ata might have become the jewel of the kingdom’s burgeoning tourist industry. Imagine a Tongan resort that would not only be mild in winter, but pleasant in summer. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Pretence. No Bullshit. Fine Poem.

John Dickson doesn’t publish much; never has. Indeed, this new collection is his first such in 18 years. As he wryly and dryly states,

I’ve published two slim volumes, and spent all
My time working on the next.
(from Wasp p.67) More>>

Scoop Review of Books: Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays On Place From Aotearoa NZ

The New Zealand landscape undoubtedly is very beautiful, but so is the British one, and my attachment to this country is much more about some particular places, and the memories and emotions that in them combine, than it is about the landscape as a whole. More>>

Canonisation Fodder: Suzanne Aubert Declared ‘Venerable’

Suzanne Aubert, the founder of the Sisters of Compassion New Zealand’s home grown order of Sisters, has been declared ‘venerable’, a major milestone on the path to sainthood in the Catholic Church. More>>

“I Have Not Performed Well Enough”: Ernie Merrick Leaving Wellington Phoenix

Ernie Merrick has stepped down from his position as Wellington Phoenix FC Head Coach. The club would like to thank Ernie for his contribution to Wellington Phoenix and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. More>>

Ray Columbus: NZ Music Icon Passes Away

60s New Zealand music Icon Ray Columbus has passed away peacefully at his home north of Auckland... Ray Columbus enjoyed more than three decades at the top of NZ entertainment as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, music manager and TV star. More>>

Review: Bernard Herrmann's Scores For 'Vertigo' & 'Psycho'

Howard Davis: The NZSO's adventurousness was richly-rewarded, as the deeply appreciative Wellington audience was given the opportunity not only to see a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, but also to hear fine renditions of two of Bernard Herrmann's most accomplished film scores. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news