PhD Alum Whitney Mendel, Assistant Professor Mickey Sperlich and colleagues publish article, "The Doulas of the Priscilla Project: Understanding the Experience of Refugee Women Navigating the US Maternity-care System"

Published April 9, 2020

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Whitney Mendel

Whitney Mendel.

Mickey Sperlich

Mickey Sperlich.

Congratulations to PhD Alum Whitney Mendel, Assistant Professor Mickey Sperlich and their colleagues on publishing their article, "The Doulas of the Priscilla Project: Understanding the Experience of Refugee Women Navigating the US Maternity-care System," in the Journal of Refugee Stuides.

Mendel, W., Sperlich, M., & Finucane, A. (2019). The Doulas of the Priscilla Project: Understanding the Experience of Refugee Women Navigating the US Maternity-care System. Journal of Refugee Studies. 

Abstract

The aim of this qualitative study was to explore pregnant refugee women’s experiences and perceived needs while navigating the US maternity-care system. Using grounded-theory principles, this community-based study was conducted with the doulas of Jericho Road Health Center’s Priscilla Project of Buffalo, which provides pregnant refugee women with culturally and/or linguistically matched doulas and peer mentors in Western New York. Data was sourced from two focus groups and five structured interviews with 13 of the Priscilla Project of Buffalo (PPB) doulas between February and May of 2017. Themes emerged from the data centred on cross-cultural comparisons that contextualize how pregnant refugee women engage with the US maternity-care system, the challenges women face in navigating this and other US systems, and the role of community supports in facilitating navigation. Findings highlight the need for culturally informed and responsive support of refugee women that carry beyond the scope of the delivery room and into the day-to-day navigation of the many systems that influence health and wellbeing.