Birth Across the Borders: Exploring the experiences of Mothers in Myanmar

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Maternal mortality and morbidity are complex global development challenges which can have a significant impact on the health and well-being mothers and their families. Understanding the unique cultural and contextual risk factors that influence a women's decision-making is critical to the design and implementation of effective maternal healthcare and education.
Aim and Objectives
Analyse contextual and cultural factors influencing maternal health and education within three rural and remote regions of Myanmar, utilising the 3 Delays Model to address the identified complex development challenges. This is one component of a larger integrated maternal health research programme.
A mixed methods approach was utilised with a survey, focus groups and 1-1 interviews with key stakeholders including pregnant women, fathers, Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). The research tools were designed to incorporate six key constructs: culture, context, maternal and infant health, education, and entrepreneurship. Data was collected in seven village tracts across three regions of Myanmar. Quantitative Data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics utilising SPSS. Qualitive data was analysed using Braun and Clarke thematic analysis framework. Ethical approval was granted by Ulster University Ethics Committee. Local permission was granted.
Preliminary results demonstrated that unique cultural and contextual challenges impact greatly on women’s birth experiences. These challenges include low literacy levels, limited access to maternity services and reluctance to leave families and communities to access care. Home births and breastfeeding are culturally accepted norms but traditional birthing practices and limited antenatal or skilled intra-natal care can lead to increased risks.
Conclusion and Impact
Understanding and integrating the cultural and contextual barriers into education in regions with poor infrastructure and limited midwifery care is critical for improving maternal outcomes. In fragile settings the importance of building strong and effective multi-disciplinary partnerships is an essential first step in securing longer term implementation of evidence into reality.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 7 Mar 2024
EventTrinity Health and Education International
Research Conference 2024: New Horizons in Healthcare: Global Impact, Local Relevance
- School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 5 Mar 20247 Mar 2024


ConferenceTrinity Health and Education International
Research Conference 2024
Abbreviated titleTHEconf2024
Internet address


  • Birth
  • midwifery
  • Sustainability


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