May 16, 2020

May 16, 2020

Fear in pregnant and postpartum Hispanic Mothers During the current pandemic

“The fears and anxieties about my birth have only escalated… I am suffering” Rosa F

Research shows the majority of Hispanic families distrust the medical hospital system.

“Spanish preference Latinas had significantly more pregnancy-related anxiety about their health and safety in childbirth and concerning the medical system compared to English-preference Latinas and non-Hispanic White women.”

Research shows Hispanic women do not want to be separated from their infants.

Research shows Hispanic women want to have family support inside the delivery and or operating room.

Vast misinformation and the sense that formula might be “safe.”

“Women said they were motivated to breastfeed because of their knowledge and observations of its health benefits for mother and child. They said breastfeeding is ingrained in their Hispanic cultural heritage, and infant feeding choices of female family members were particularly influential in women’s own decision to breastfeed. Women said they experienced embarrassment about breastfeeding in the United States and as a result, often chose to initiate formula feeding as a complement so as to avoid feelings of shame.”

“The milk is not in yet”

Hispanic mothers that I counseled, read online that the virus does not spread through breast milk. But their fears of contracting the virus and passing it onto their offspring discourages them from breastfeeding.

Research shows that Hispanic mothers would benefit from receiving mental health services.

“ I was sent home after 24 hours of giving birth and my baby will stay in NICU until I do not know.” Martha G

Research shows that a large majority of hospitals discharge mothers within 24 hours.

Research shows Hispanic women often experience cultural and language barriers when interacting with medical staff.

Cultural beliefs and norms may be misunderstood or lost during conversations utilizing “the blue phone” translator.

Many physicians and medical staff who do not speak the language of the patient are unfamiliar with Hispanic culture and may lack empathy. Many Hispanic women fear their children will be removed by Child Protective Services if their babies lose weight or are considered underweight.

Cultural Traditions allow the mother to do cuarentena, the 40 days of postpartum recovery for Hispanic women in the United States.

La cuarentena provides the mother with plenty of direct care, love for their body and newborn, protection, and support by the family. The family members often take care of the mother by providing traditional nutritional healing herbs and foods.

“The erosion of traditional social support resulting from the act of migration itself and its effects, such as isolation and physical segregation, undermines one’s ability to cope with a pregnancy/delivery in a healthy manner.”

“There is a lack of family social support for immigrant women after they give birth.”


E. Mahrerab Isabel F. Ramosa Christine Guardinoc Elysia Poggi Davis de Sharon L. Rameyf Madeleine Shalowitzg Christine Dunkel Schettera. Pregnancy anxiety in expectant mothers predicts offspring negative affect: The moderating role of acculturation.


Patricia Barry Lawrence RN MS Breast Milk: Best Source of Nutrition for Term and Preterm Infants.


Miguel Ceballosa and Alberto Palloni. Maternal and infant health of Mexican immigrants in the United States: the effects of acculturation, duration, and selective return migration.


Hohl S1, Thompson B2,3, Escareño M4, Duggan C2. Cultural Norms in Conflict: Breastfeeding Among Hispanic Immigrants in Rural Washington State.