Achieving Cultural Safety in Australian Indigenous Maternity Care
Catherine Fenton, Dr Linda K Jones

Background: Indigenous populations suffer poorer maternal and infant health across the Australian nation, also affecting populations of SE Australia. Representing less than 2 % of the population in southern Victoria, Indigenous mothers and babies demonstrate disproportionately high healthcare problems, compared with mainstream communities. These worse outcomes provide evidence that midwives and health systems who care for Indigenous mothers and babies are failing them. Aim: The project sought to examine what practices healthcare workers in a maternity service employ to support Indigenous women though maternity care. The aim was to examine where barriers and complexities challenge their practice. Revealing the successful and positive strategies used will be pertinent to how current maternity care provision, can facilitate greater access and quality within services. Method: an ethnographic form of qualitative enquiry was employed to gather data form 9 participants. Findings: This study reinforced the importance of culture, respect, and therapeutic relations for productive communication strategies in an Indigenous maternity service. Conclusion: Improvements in Indigenous maternal healthcare may be found in approaches which utilise cultural safety and support health carer’s working within organisations to address cultural needs of every client.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijhs.v3n1a2