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

 

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

EPMU: Fourth Pike River Anniversary

Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. More>>

ALSO:

'Kindara': Unusual Ginger Coloured Kiwi Chick Released To Taupo Creche

A cute little kiwi chick with an unusual ginger tinge to its feathers has just been released to Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary Kiwi Creche in Taupo after hatching at Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Encounter. More>>

Werewolf: The Complicatist : Bob Dylan Himself, And By Others

Bob Dylan is about to release a six CD version of the entire Basement Tapes sessions he recorded with the Band 40 years ago. To mark the occasion, I’ve rustled together some favourite cover versions of Dylan songs, and a few lesser-known tracks by the great man. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gone Girl : The Trouble With Amy

Philip Matthews: Three words to describe the David Fincher film Gone Girl: cynical, topical and ridiculous. Ridiculous isn’t a negative. More>>

ALSO:

11/11: Armistice Day Peace Vigils

On Armistice Day 2014, the second in the series of peace vigils that will take place three times each year during the World War One centenary will be held in Hokianga, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Otaki, Lower Hutt, Wellington and Takaka. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news