Roles of Social Network in Japanese Women's Prenatal Healthcare Utilization Patterns in the US - Implications to Migrants' Maternal Wellbeing
The study is based on in-depth interviews with 21 Japanese women who lived in Central New Jersey in 2014/15 and who have experienced childbirth in the US. It is partially ethnographic. The researcher took active parts in activities organized by the local Japanese community association during the 8 months research period and conducted two workshops aimed at promoting Japanese women’s wellbeing in the US. Field memos and workshop records from these activities are included in the analysis. Ethical approval was obtained from the Institutional Review Board of Princeton University.
Different types of networks influenced the sources of information and thus the prenatal health service utilisation pattern. Very few intra-nationally married Japanese women knew the option of midwife-led model of care in the US. Those who have chosen midwife-led care were more acculturated, married to American nationals and expressed higher sense of control and cohesions than intra-nationally married Japanese women who predominantly had obstetrician-led care. “Not being fussy” was regarded as a virtue among many women interviewed and prevented them from proactively seeking information outside their own network.