Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Heide Castañeda, Ph.D.


Immigrant women's health, Medical anthropology, Maternal health services, Western bio-medicine, Medicaid


Immigrant women often lack the social support and help from extended family and other social relationships, which is very significant during the pregnancy, delivery, and postnatal period. This research was conducted among Bangladeshi immigrant women living in the United States, in order to understand their experiences during pregnancy and childbirth: how they coped with the settings of a different country during that period, and how they felt about this situation. While there are several studies on immigrant women and maternal health issues in anthropology, to my knowledge, there have been none that focused specifically on the childbirth experiences of Bangladeshi immigrant women in the US. These women have very specific culturally-based perceptions about the US health care system around issues such as communication with service providers, dealing with the hospital system, the role of health insurance, and so on. This research was conducted among Bangladeshi women in Tampa, Florida, and sought to understand their experiences during pregnancy and childbirth and perceptions of access and quality in the health care system. Fifteen women were selected through purposive and snowball sampling. Data was collected using in-depth interviews. This study examines the experiences of these Bangladeshi immigrant women within their socioeconomic context and immigration status.